Bengaluru: A public squabble between two senior women officers has shocked many in the Karnataka administration and has left the Basavaraj Bommai government at a loss for a response.
State Home Minister Araga Jnanedra today warned of action, angered by what he termed the “misbehavior” of the two officers.
On Sunday, IPS (Indian Police Service) officer D Rupa Moudgil shared personal photos of IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer Rohini Sinduri on social media. He said that Rohini Sinduri had violated the service code of conduct by sending her photographs to male IAS officers.
D Rupa posted the pictures on his Facebook page and alleged that Ms Sinduri shared them with three IAS officers in 2021 and 2022.
Earlier in the day, T Rupa released a long list of corruption allegations against Ms Sinduri. He said that he had also complained to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Pomi and Chief Secretary Vandita Sharma.
An angry Ms Sinduri said in a statement on Sunday that De Rupa was running a “false, personal smear campaign” against her and threatened to take action.
“He collected photographs and screenshots of (my) WhatsApp status from social media and defamed me. He has alleged that I sent these pictures to some officials, so I request them to release their names,” said Ms Sinduri.
She even referred to “mental illness” while hitting out at her adversary.
“Mental illness is a big problem and needs to be addressed through medication and counselling. When it affects those holding responsible positions, it becomes very dangerous. Rupa IPS is running false, personal smear campaigns against me. Activity,” she alleged.
The Karnataka home minister said he had discussed the dispute with the police chief and the chief minister was also aware.
“We are not silent, action will be taken against them, both of them are behaving so badly – even common people don’t talk like this on the street, let them do whatever they want with their personal issues but come forward. The media and how they are behaving is not right,” said Mr Gyanendra.
D Rupa is the Managing Director of the Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation and Ms Sinduri is the Commissioner of the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charities Department.
The spat is said to have started recently when pictures of Ms Sinduri sitting with Janata Dal secular MLA Sa Ra Mahesh at a restaurant went viral. When Ms. Sinduri took office in Mysuru in 2021, the two had several public spats, accusing each other of corruption.
Questioning why an IAS meeting officer would meet a politician, D Roopa suggested that the two had struck a deal.
Sinduri denied the allegation.
The heated exchange between the two officials has created a stir in bureaucratic circles. Yesterday, Chief Minister Boyam called it a “personal matter”, but many believe he may have to intervene as the fight turns ugly.