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Kerala: IAS officers call off mass leave protest after CM's rap

By Anusha Ravi
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IAS officers in Kerala who had decided to go on a mass casual leave in protest decided to withdraw their protest following a meeting with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The Kerala government and bureaucrats in the state were at loggerheads over Vigilance commissioner filing cases against senior IAS officers. Bureaucrats in the state decided to go on mass casual leave on Monday in an attempt to protest the crackdown, that they claim to be the misuse of office, by Vigilance Chief Jacob Thomas. The protest was called off after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan came down heavily on the IAS officers on Monday.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

"The protest is being considered as a serious move against the government. This will not be allowed. The government will not interfere with the investigations taken up by the vigilance department. Such a protest by bureaucrats is not justified at any cost", the Kerala Chief Minister said. He addressed the press after a meeting with IAS officers.

IAS officers in the state decided to go on mass leave as a mark of protest against Vigilance chief for alleged misuse of office and registering cases against senior civil servants. The anger was sparked off by a case registered by the vigilance against senior IAS officer Paul Antony who holds the office of additional chief secretary (industries). He was booked in connection with the nepotism case involving former Industries Minister E P Jayarajan. IAS officers allege that Jacob Thomas was acting in a vindictive manner and had earlier taken representations to the government against him. "In the past few months, there have been instances when the vigilance director had taken vindictive actions against officers who, either pointed out his misdoings or questioned him for taking law in his hands." said a note that was passed after Saturday's meeting of IAS officers.

Their anger also stems from government inaction over their allegations. Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday however, announced that the government would not interfere and the vigilance department will go ahead with investigations.

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