Widespread criticism against ITDA PO for not giving chair to ST ex-MLA
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
Kakinada: There is widespread condemnation of the Rampachodavaram ITDA Project Officer Praveen Adhithya’s harsh treatment to tribal people, as is alleged by various sections of people including a retired IAS officer.
Some of these people have demanded that the government shift the official from the post and book criminal cases against him for objectionable acts like denying chair to a former ST ex-MLA and other tribals at an official discussion on tribal issues and making them squat on the floor.
Activists have advised ITDA project officers to behave well and be of help to the tribals, care for their welfare and respect them. "Every employee including project officers are taking salaries from the income generated from the hard work of the tribal people. These officers are duty-bound to care for them," they said.
They said that the officials should not see the ITDA as another government department.
"I have a lot of pain after hearing about the humiliation of the tribal people by the ITDA PO. The POs should show empathically, be humanitarian and respect the tribes. The tribes are so innocent and they don’t know how to behave with the officials. Yet, their sense of dignity should be protected,’’ said the retired IAS officer Babu Rao Naidu.
He said that when he worked as project officer for four ITDAs and when he worked in Rampachodavaram, he built an Alluri Sitharama Raju Bhavan for the tribals, for them to have rest and relaxation, as they are coming from far off places to the ITDA offices with the hope of sorting out their problems.
Retired IAS officers like Sankaran, MVP Sastry and others used to spend so many days along with the tribes and tribal students. IAS officers like Jayesh Ranjan, Reddy Subrahmanyam, Karthikeya Misra and others developed a bond with the tribes. The Pos should respect the values of tribes. ITDA is not a government office, it is like a father or mother to the tribes," it is pointed out.
CPIM Rajamahendravaram district secretary T Arun urged the government to take action against the PO. He said everyone should condemn the PO’s harsh behaviour towards tribes.
Jana Sena Kunavaram unit president Narendra Kumar too criticised the PO for not offering a chair to tribals including a former MLA. The Rampachodavaram MLA Dhanalakshmi should respond on the incident and take steps to ensure that such incidents do not recur, Kumar said.
East Godavari district collector Harikiran said the video that has become viral in social media has shown only a part of the incident. The video did not show the remaining parts wherein the PO offered a chair to the former MLA and others, he said.
Meanwhile, former deputy chief minister N Chinarajappa strongly condemned the manner in which the ITDA project officer Praveen Adhithya made the adivasis and a former ST MLA squat on the floor during discussions at an official meeting held on the tribal problems.
Chinarajappa demanded that the state government take immediate action against the erring officers responsible for the humiliation meted out to the tribals. Because of such high-handed actions, the adivasis were slowly losing their trust in the ITDA system in recent times.
The TD leader said that till now, the tribal populations looked up to the ITDA for solutions to their problems whenever they faced trouble from outside forces. Now, a pitiable situation was created in the state that is forcing the adivasis to launch an agitation against even the ITDA for protection of their rights.