The two recent incidents of mowing down of senior government officers when, in the line of their duty, who acted against mafias shook the nation and left the nation questioning how such mafia become so indispensable.
Getting into civil services or being a top-ranking officer in Police services is a dream for many, but their vulnerability due to mafias and crime syndicates is a matter of grave concern.
On 19 July, DSP Surender Singh Bishnoi in Haryana’s Nuh district was murdered in broad daylight when he confronted a dumper carrying stones from an illegal mining site.
The very next day on 20 July, in another gory incident a female sub-inspector Sandhya Topno was mowed down during a vehicle checking drive in Jharkhand. She was trampled to death by a pick-up van suspected of carrying smuggled cattle.
While this is not the first incident that shook the nation, earlier there have been a number of IAS, and IES officers who laid down their lives falling prey to the mafia.
Here’s a look at some officers who had to pay a heavy price for their honest work.
Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer D K Ravi aka D K Ravikumar, who had taken over the land mafia in Karnataka’s Kolar district, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself. As Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes (Enforcement), he made a mark in administration for his upright nature.
The 34-year-old Ravi’s death triggered national outrage and provoked protests and bandhs across the Kolar, Mandya and Tumakuru belts in Karnataka. He was transferred to Bengaluru where he had been serving as the additional commissioner for commercial taxes.
Soon after his death, speculations were rife that he had been murdered for standing up to powerful lobbies and allegations of foul play surfaced.
Days after Ravi’s death, the JDS alleged that Ravi had been transferred to Bengaluru from Kolar at the behest of the sand mafia.
An A-grade officer and manager of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was murdered in 2005 for taking action against two petrol pumps in Lakhimpur Kheri. Soon after he was ordered to seal the petrol pumps for three months after they were caught selling adulterated fuel, and he was shot dead.
An Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Narendra Kumar was killed while chasing a tractor loaded with illegally mined stones in the Morena district of Madhya Pradesh after he spotted a tractor while patrolling and tried to stop it by blocking its path with his jeep.
But the driver of the tractor ploughed into him and he died on the spot which caused outrage across the country. Kumar was evidently killed for trying to combat illegal mining in the state.
In an extremely tragic incident, an Additional District Collector of Malegaon Yashwant Sonawane was burnt alive with kerosene by the oil mafia at Manmad in Maharashtra. He had caught the oil mafia pilfering fuel from a tanker and was building a case against a person named Popat Shinde who was involved with the oil mafia for over 30 years. Sonawane had seized 4,000 litres of kerosene and 3,000 litres of petrol from Shinde’s Dhaba.
An Indian Engineering Services (IES) officer and a dedicated and honest civil servant died fighting corruption He was one of the project directors of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and was reportedly murdered in 2003 for exposing high-level corruption in the central government’s Golden Quadrilateral Highway construction project.