Around 30 officers of the Cachar district administration, Assam, have complained to chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma against Lakhipur’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Kaushik Rai for allegedly insulting, threatening and abusing officers on flood relief duty.
In a memorandum addressed to the chief secretary, the principal secretary to the CM and the principal secretary (personnel), the Assam Civil Services (ACS) cadre officers mentioned “the very shameful incident of gross misbehaviour by MLA Lakhipur towards the civil servants engaged in relief duty in Sonai Revenue Circle, Dr Dipankar Nath, ACS, circle officer, Sonai Revenue Circle; Bikash Chetri, ALRS, circle officer (A), Sonai Revenue Circle; and Hussain Mohammad Mobin, ALRS, BDO, Sonai, in the presence of Ashok Singhal, guardian minister, Cachar, who was reviewing the flood situation and accompanied by the district president, BJP, Cachar; ex-MLA, Sonai; Panchayat representatives along with several party workers and their associates.”
The officers alleged that while visiting the designated relief camps at Govindanagar Shivbari High School, Rai remarked that Mobin “should be beaten up in the same manner as he was once manhandled at block office by various party workers on March 10”, NDTV reported.
According to the officers, the Panchayat representatives said that the “circle officer(s) should be punished as they have failed to distribute any relief”. Using “derogatory and unparliamentary” words for the entire government machinery working in Sonai, they also accused the concerned officers of “working at the behest of the opposition party and termed the officers as agents of the opposition”, the memorandum further alleged.
The officers accused Rai of calling both the circle officers “rice thieves” and saying that their “bodies shall be infested with maggots” while he was visiting the flood-prone areas of Kaptanpur and Rupaibali GP under Lakhipur Constituency.
Rai allegedly “threatened Nath by abusing him”, questioned his educational qualifications and “raised his hand and said, ‘Ek sor marim (Will slap you).’”, the memorandum further alleged while condemning such treatment.
Requesting the CM for a better working environment, the officers wrote that their personal dignity and self-respect should not be trampled upon.
Rai, however, refuted the charges. “During my visit to Sonai, people complained that they did not get relief during floods. I did not misbehave with any officer present there. I asked them to work as this is a humanitarian crisis,” he told the media. Had there been some issue, there would have been a video or audio footage,” he told The Economic Times.