IAS officer denies fudging certificate

September 4th, 2010
DC Correspondent

Chennai, Sept. 3: Dalit IAS officer C. Umashankar, whose suspension
has been revoked by the DMK government, appeared before the media on
Friday and stoutly denied that he had produced a false SC certificate.

“My father is a Hindu Pallar. I was a dalit when I joined the IAS
about 20 years ago. I have not fudged anything,” he explained.

Mr Umashankar said he was constrained to explain his position as
serious charges had been made against him.

He also said the UPSC and the Union government had the power to
enquire the genuineness of the community certificate. He also
vehemently denied the allegation that he had amassed wealth
disproportionate to his known sources of income.

He said he would prove his integrity through the process of law.

The government’s climbdown revoking Mr Umashankar’s suspension is seen
as an attempt to placate the agitating dalit community ahead of
elections for the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

The government’s action has come despite the fact that the aggrieved
officer did not seek legal remedy challenging the suspension. Chief
minister M. Karunanidhi tried to justify the suspension only a
fortnight ago saying Mr Umashankar had deprived the chance of a dalit
aspirant getting into IAS.

But his explanation that the dalit officer had allegedly produced a
false community certificate did not find takers in the community.

“There was no truth in the government’s claim. The suspension has been
revoked mainly because they could not prove the charge since they
found no evidence against him.”

“The wave of protests in support of Mr Umashankar, across the state,
not only by dalits but also by all who have faith in probity, must
have compelled the government,” remarked Mr Punithapandiayan, editor
of dalit magazine, Dalit Murasu.

Mr C.K. Tamilarasan, Republican Party of India president, said the
suspension was in haste and baseless. “The outcome of the final
enquiry has not come yet. But they chose to revoke it. The government
understands the anger of dalits over the way it had treated a senior
dalit officer,” he said.


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