Free Press Journal

Suspended Dalit IAS officer Karnawat vows to become ‘sanyasin’


Bhopal: Dalit IAS officer Shashi Karnawat, who has been under suspension since her conviction by a court in a corruption case, today vowed to become an ascetic and “take refuge in the Almighty”.

Karnawat also alleged that the Madhya Pradesh government has been “hounding” her even after putting her in jail and had served notices on her during festivals like Diwali.

The allegation came at a time when two IAS officers have earned wrath of government in separate instances of praising and congratulating former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jaylalithaa.

“I have taken a decision to renounce the world and become a sanyasin. One becomes powerful when he takes refuge in the Almighty. To conquer the downfall, to turn adversaries into victories, bothering into meditation and troubles into means to happiness, I am going to enter the spiritual realm shortly,” Karnawat told PTI today.

“I have been running from pillar to post for justice since 2000. In my case, natural justice has been overlooked,” she said. Karnawat had in the past accused the government of “caste bias” against Dalit and tribal public servants and joined hands with another Dalit IAS officer Ramesh Thete. She had also participated in a dharna here in January.

In 2013, a Mandla district court had sentenced Karnawat, who was promoted to the IAS in 1999, to five-year imprisonment in a graft case, following which she was placed under suspension.

She later moved the High Court challenging her conviction, and got bail. Karnawat said she had been living in a penance by eating just once in a day since she was suspended 33 months ago.

“The world outside has inflicted pains on me, but now I have discovered bountiful happiness inside,” Karnawat said.