In a grim reminder of the occupational risks faced by upright officers who dare to act as whistleblowers, another bureaucrat has been tranferred to a more "convenient" department.
Ashok Khemka, a senior Haryana IAS officer, who exposed widespread irregularities in land deals, has been shunted out in less than two months. As Director General, Consolidation of Holdings and Land Records, he had highlighted how in Gurgaon, panchayat land worth several hundred crores was transferred to private companies for a song. His charge is that he has been shunted out to "punish" his role as a whistleblower and his expose on corruption.
The senior officer seems to be paying for standing up for the Gurgaon farmers who are trying to regain their 19 acres along the Gurgaon-Faridabad highway from private builders. Mr Khemka, during his 50-day stint, detected how bureaucrats, with politicians’ blessings, had acquired prime plots which were later sold dirt cheap to private real estate companies.
All this is not new to Khemka, who was moved out of HARTRON when he had drawn attention to corrupt practices there. The latest transfer is the 43rd in his career.