Bengaluru, (Asian independent) Seeking the state government’s support in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic, IAS officers in Karnataka objected to the FIR filed against former Mysuru Zilla Parishad CEO P.K. Mishra for allegedly abetting the death of a doctor by suicide last week, an official said on Tuesday.
“Lodging an FIR on August 20 against Mishra for the death of Nanjungud health official S.R. Nagendra on August 19 has brought down the morale of field officers and such acts will deteriorate the administrative efficiency,” Karnataka IAS Officers’ Association secretary Pankaj Kumar Pandey said in a statement here.
Pandey is the state Health Commissioner, who is leading the battle against the pandemic since mid-March.
“Holding Mishra, a 2014 batch IAS officer, responsible for the doctor’s suicide is unjust, as he was only implementing the state government’s guidelines to contain the Covid pandemic,” asserted Pandey.
Terming Nagendra’s death as very unfortunate, Pandey said that no one knows what prompted the doctor to end his life.
“But to blame an (IAS) officer for doing his duty is not the right approach. The insinuations about one’s character and media trial cause irreparable damage,” Pandey said.
The state government had on August 22 transferred Mishra from the executive post without further posting, pending inquiry into the doctor’s tragic death.
The doctor’s family and health officials in the district alleged that Nagendra committed suicide due to alleged harassment by Mishra and work pressure to ramp up testing and meet “unreasonable” targets.
“The state government should support the hard work of all the officials at the field level. IAS officers on Covid duty have been working 24×7 without a break. A pragmatic and sensitive approach is warranted,” added Pandey.
Nanjungud is about 160 km southwest of Bengaluru.
As the state is fighting the war against the deadly disease with combined efforts of all the stakeholders, the state government has entrusted every department with Covid work to assist the health department in containing the virus spread.
Though the state managed to contain the infection till the lockdown was extended up to May 31, unlocking since June 1 has led to dramatic rise in the number of Covid cases, taking the state’s tally to a whopping 2,91,826 till Tuesday, including 82,410 active cases, while 4,958 have succumbed to the virus so far.
Mysuru Deputy Commissioner Abhiram Shankar is holding the CEO’s post as an additional charge till further order.
Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa had on August 20 ordered an inquiry into Nagendra’s death and the alleged role of Mishra in driving the doctor to commit suicide.
Yediyurappa also announced Rs 50 lakh compensation to the bereaved family and assured its members to give a government job to the doctor’s widow.
The doctor was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his home Alanahalli on August 19. The police, however, did not find any suicide note in the house.