Chief Minister orders Chief Secretary to take appropriate action; Home Minister says behaviour shameful
Bengaluru: Causing a flutter in the State bureaucracy, two top women Officers in Karnataka, IPS Officer D. Roopa Moudgil and IAS Officer Rohini Sindhuri, have locked horns in public with accusations of corruption, vilification and sending personal pictures.
Following intense public criticism, adverse comments and negative publicity on social media on the fight between the two senior Officers, sources in the Chief Minister’s office told Star of Mysore that the CM has ordered Chief Secretary Vandita Sharma to issue notices to both the Officers seeking explanation on their public behaviour.
The CM has also asked the two Officers to refrain from making any comments in public. Sources said that the CM has been apprised of the public spat and he wants to avoid public censure of his Government at a time when the State is getting ready to face elections in two to three months. Yesterday, Bommai told reporters that the “issue was personal in nature.”
While Roopa is currently serving as Managing Director of Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation, Rohini Sindhuri, who was the former Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Mysuru, is currently serving as the Commissioner of Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Department.
Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said in Bengaluru this morning, “It is really shameful that two high level women Officers of the Government are fighting on social media like the general public. This tarnishes the image of the Government. Hence, the CM has asked the Chief Secretary to issue notices to both the Officers.
“The friction between the two Officers is reported continuously in various media channels. Many matters are mentioned. If they had personal differences, they should have brought it to the notice of the Chief Secretary of the Government. It is not right to be involved in social media spat like this. The Government will not be quiet noticing all these developments. Both will be served notices. If their behaviour continues, we will take decision over further action,” he said.
Accusations fly thick and fast
Roopa took to social media on Saturday to accuse Rohini Sindhuri of several wrongdoings. She also released the woman IAS Officer’s personal pictures allegedly shared with a few male Officers.
It all started after photographs of Rohini Sindhuri and JD(S) MLA from K.R. Nagar S.R. Mahesh sitting together in a restaurant emerged on social media with reports of a purported compromise between Rohini Sindhuri and Mahesh.
In 2021, when Rohini was the Mysuru DC, she and the MLA had several spats, with both accusing each other of corruption. When the photographs emerged, Roopa Moudgil took to social media to question why an Officer was meeting a politician and whether a compromise was being struck.
In a detailed Facebook post on Feb. 18, Roopa listed various allegations against Rohini, accusing her of corruption and sending personal pictures to other IAS Officers. Listing out 20 points, Roopa asked why there was no investigation against Rohini though there were murmurs of corruption.
Row with Shilpa Nag raked up
Roopa also referenced Rohini’s past conflicts with fellow civil servants, including the then Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Commissioner Shilpa Nag. In June 2021, Shilpa Nag and Rohini were transferred out of their posts after Shilpa held a press meet and accused Rohini of humiliating her. Rohini on the other hand alleged dereliction of duties by Shilpa.
The IPS Officer also raked up the deaths of 24 people at the Chamarajanagar Government Hospital due to lack of oxygen during the pandemic. There were allegations then that Mysuru had not transported enough oxygen to Chamarajanagar.
Roopa also questioned why Rohini built a swimming pool in her house in the middle of the pandemic.
Roopa shared on her Facebook page seven pictures of Sindhuri, alleging that the latter allegedly shared them with IAS Officers in 2021 and 2022. Roopa wrote in the post, “what does it mean when a female IAS Officer sends such pictures to not one, not two but three male IAS Officers? Then this is not a private matter (of Sindhuri).”
Legal action warned
Meanwhile, Rohini Sindhuri released a media statement yesterday saying that Roopa was “driving false, personal vilification campaign” against her, which is “her standard modus operandi.”
The statement said: “I will take legal and other actions with appropriate authorities for her actions amounting to misconduct and criminal offences under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).”
“She collected photos from social media and screenshots of (my) WhatsApp status to defame me. As she has alleged that I sent these pics to some officials, I urge her to reveal their names,” Sindhuri said.
Rohini Sindhuri meets Chief Secretary
IAS Officer Rohini Sindhuri met Chief Secretary Vandita Sharma this afternoon and presented her version of the controversy with IPS Officer Roopa Moudgil.
Sources said that the Chief Secretary summoned Sindhuri to her office based on the directive of the CM. Sindhuri spoke with the Chief Secretary for over 30 minutes, sources added.
Late IAS Officer’s wife posts a cryptic tweet on karma
Kusuma Hanumantharayappa, wife of D.K. Ravi, the IAS Officer who committed suicide, has responded to IPS Officer D. Roopa’s suspicion of IAS Officer Rohini Sindhuri’s role in her husband’s suicide and said that the CBI report on her husband’s suicide had mentioned the names of those responsible for the suicide.
Among the allegations levelled by Roopa was a reference to the personal chats between Sindhuri and Ravi prior to his death by suicide in 2015. “What I think is, (that) since I believe in God, is that you reap what you sow. Karma will not spare anyone. If we do good or bad deeds, we will pay for it in this life,” Kusuma said yesterday.
No one else should suffer the pain and humiliation suffered by her and her family. At least now, the contents of the CBI closure report on Ravi’s suicide should be discussed widely, Kusuma further said.
“After the CBI report came out, no one discussed what the report said… like they did when he died. The reason why Ravi died by suicide is in it, (and the names of) those responsible for his decision are also mentioned in the report,” she added.
The CBI, which probed the case, concluded in 2016 that Ravi died by suicide and there was no external pressure on him. Earlier in the day, Kusuma had posted a cryptic tweet.
“Karma will get back at you, sooner or later it surely will,” she posted.
Roopa is jealous of my wife: Sudheer Reddy
Sudheer Reddy, the husband of IAS Officer Rohini Sindhuri told reporters in Bengaluru this morning that IPS Officer Roopa Moudgil must refrain from making personal remarks.
“It is not right to speak about my family and more importantly, my wife does not need publicity. Roopa is jealous of Rohini Sindhuri,” he said.
“Roopa has several followers on social media and she is behind publicity. We will take legal action on her actions. Who is Roopa to speak about my wife? I am a Kannadiga and Bengaluru is my home. And I am an Indian. My family is educated and has culture. What photos Roopa has posted are normal photos and as a software engineer, I can say that the photos have been hacked from my wife’s phone with Bluetooth,” Reddy said.
“I was working in the US and as my parents are in Bengaluru, I resigned and came here. My father came to Bengaluru 50 years back and our family has properties in Bengaluru and we do real estate business. My family had stakes in real estate even before I married Rohini Sindhuri,” he added.
When reporters asked him about IAS Officer D.K. Ravi’s suicide, Reddy said, “It is not appropriate to pass comments on a person who has passed away. Even I am in family life and I know what it is. “Rohini Sindhuri is doing good work and unable to digest this, Roopa is resorting to mud-slinging.”
“Moreover, my wife does not use social media,” he clarified.