Journalists and members of civil society have reacted with shock and horror to the ‘criminal act’ of an IAS officer working under the Rajasthan’s Vasundhara Raje government.
Sanjay Dixit, currently working as commissioner of departmental enquiries in the Rajasthan government, on Saturday had called his followers to make public the residential address of the Janta Ka Reporter’s editor-in-chief, Rifat Jawaid.
Minutes later, he also posted an address, claiming to be that of Rifat’s which was promptly retweeted by the IAS officer. The detail contained the email address of Rifat’s wife, Lubna Usman-Rifat-Jawaid. Nearly five hours later, Dixit deleted those tweets only after Twitter was informed about his criminal action.
The pisode has understandably left the family shaken particularly in the environment of rampant lynchings of Muslims in India.
Reacting to the development, Rifat said, “This is extraordinary and chilling to say the least. First a civil servant frequently throws the All India Services (Conduct) Rules out of window with impunity, then he threatens to compromise our safety. Amidst the environment of Muslims being lynched to death by the right-wing groups, this IAS officer’s irresponsible action is reprehensible. I’ve taken the screenshots of all his Saturday’s tweets.”
Dixit’s action also evoked angry reactions from journalists and other members of the civil society as they demanded strict action against the IAS officer.
Veteran journalist Qamar Wahid Naqvi wrote, “If the content of this post is true, it is really a serious criminal offense on the part of said bureaucrat. I wonder how minds of such high rank officers have been poisoned whose primary duty is to run administration in a fair, rationale, reasonable and justified manner.”
Naqvi also added, “if Janata ka Reporter committed any offense and ‘spread communalism’ as per your allegations, Mr. Sanjay Dixit being a senior IAS officer is empowered to initiate lawful action against Rifat and Janata ka Reporter. Not only Mr. Dixit, but any Indian citizen including you could have filed FIR against Rifat and Janata ka Reporter for any perceived “Objectionable” or “Antinational” or “Jihadi content”. One could have directly approached a court of law for these so-called offenses. Why Mr. Sanjay Dixit didn’t do that? In this case unfortunately Mr. Sanjay Dixit do not have any defence against his act. Not only he clearly acted as troll but he also instigated his followers to troll Rifat Jawaid , which is criminal act, which no one can defend for any reason whatsoever. (sic)”
Another journalist, Bobby Naqvi wrote, “Clearly, by asking for his residential address, Dixit is trying to to threaten Rifat who is doing a fantastic job as a journalist. In today’s climate of mob lynching, Dixit’s action amounts to incitement to commit violence. A complaint should be lodged against this officer.”
Journalist Anurag Tripathi said that ‘We cannot let goons threaten us and get away with it. In solidarity with Rifat Jawaid Janta Ka Reporter.’
Condemnation has also been pouring on across Facebook and Twitter with users posting ‘In solidarity with Rifat Jawaid.’
Here are some of the reactions from Facebook:
Jatin Gandhi: Criminal intimidation, inciting communal violence and service rule violations.
Ravi M Bhatnagar: Belongs to same blood thirsty tribe who Lynch on streets
Satish Misra: Shameful act, Mr Dixit, Sanjay should be taken to task for taking law into his hands.
Vijay Raman: A very unbecoming behaviour by an officer of an elite service.
Meha Dhondiyal Khanduri: omg..this is our elite bureaucracy?
Praveen Rangannavar: With this mindset he should not be left to hold any government offices.