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IAS officer accuses MLA of ‘verbal abuse’

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A senior IAS officer, posted in the Commerce and Industries Department, has in a letter to the Chief Secretary and others in the government, accused Mayakonda MLA K. Shivamurthy Naik of verbally abusing him and physically preventing him from working on a case related to the MLA’s son that is pending with the Department of Mines and Geology.

In his letter, Rajender Kumar Kataria, Secretary, Commerce and Industries Dept. (MSME and Mines), said Mr. Naik barged into his office on Monday and demanded he immediately approve the pending file submitted by his son Suraj Naik.

Mr. Suraj Naik made the application in 2015 for setting up a quarry on six acres in Siddeshwaranadurga village in Challakere taluk. As the application was submitted before the amendment to Karnataka Minor Minerals Concession Rules in 2016, it was invalidated. He has been trying to get his security deposit back since.

Accusing the MLA of coercion, Mr. Kataria said in the letter, “He not only abused me in public, but also stated that I had looted money in this department and [that] I was not willing to do the work of his son overruling the legal position. He has also physically prevented me from carrying out my official duties.”

MLA denies charge

Mr. Naik called the allegations baseless and said he has brought the matter to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s notice. He said the mining lobby was behind his son not being given licence. “If raising voice against the injustice meted out to backward communities is wrong, I will keep quiet and become a mute spectator to the lobbying of the mining companies and IAS officers,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Kataria was unavailable for comment.

In the past, the MLA has attracted the ire of teachers who worked in schools run by him. In 2013, they asked the CM to keep Mr. Naik out of the State Cabinet alleging that he had withheld their service registers. Last year, he sat on a dharna protesting his exclusion from the Cabinet after a reshuffle.

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