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Updated on Monday, June 09, 2014  

Family of the missing government Driver faces administrative apathy in Orissa

"The case of Rayagada civil supplies department Driver Kishore Tudu’s missing and regular rounding by his wife Malati Tudu in the Rayagada Civil Supplies Office and police station expecting that someone must act to rescue her husband explain how apathetic the government and administration are towards different categories of its employees. For a safe return of abducted IAS officer R. Vineel Krishna, the government of Orissa and its bureaucracy took all possible measures and agreed to most of the conditions put by the Maoists to make the negotiation successful. But in case of Kishore – a driver working in Orissa government’s civil supplies office – neither the office nor the administration even bothered to take immediate action and inform the local police to investigate and trace out the employee who went missing mysteriously."

Basudev Mahapatra

(With inputs from Tirumala Prasad Patnaik in Rayagada)

 

The government of Orissa that bent its head before the abductor Maoists just to ensure safe release of the IAS officer R. Vineel Krishna couldn’t be as good to a driver of Rayagada district civil supplies office in Orissa who went missing from March 16, 2011.

D. Kishore Tudu, a driver in the district civil supplies office in the Maoist infested Rayagada district of Orissa, has been missing since the third day of his joining in the office of the Civil Supplies, Rayagada. “He came from Rourkela to join duties. He joined on March 14, was in the office on March 15. He talked with me over telephone on March 16 in the morning at 5.30 AM and said he was near Gopabandhu High School and would reach the office in 10 minutes. But when I tried to talk to him at 6.30, his mobile was switched off and he is missing since then”, says Kishore’s wife Malati Tudu.

Even though, Rayagada is a heartland of Maoists and is among the most Maoist affected districts, the civil supplies department didn’t inform the police about the missing of the Driver nor took any action to trace out where Kishore was. There was no report with the police about the missing of the driver till Malati went to Rayagada and lodged the FIR on March 21. “He (Kishore) joined the office and vanished after two days. We have reported about his absence to the government, his family has also filed an FIR. I don’t know more than this”, says District Civil Supplies Officer Santosh Kumar Mohanty confirming that the department has already posted another driver in the place of Kishore Tudu.

As per Malati, Kishore told her in the morning that he was not given charge by the departmental Driver who was also transferred. There is a general doubt in everyone’s mind that why Kishore was not given charge till two days when March 14 and 15 were both working days? Was there any kind of employees’ dissidence that made it to be reason behind the missing or abduction of Kishore Tudu? The doubt gets a strong ground because the Rayagada office of Civil Supplies never took any initiation to check where Kishore Tudu was nor did it file an FIR with Police about the missing of its employee who joined just two days back. However, this has to be investigated by the Rayagada Police.

“The office and the authorities still take it very casually which raises doubt about some official nexus behind the missing of Kishore”, says Mrutyunjay Narayan Jena, a neighbour of Malati in Rourkela. Mryutyunjay accompanied Malati when she went to Rayagada to know the whereabouts of Kishore.

On the other hand, Malati Tudu - the wife of Kishore Tudu, who has lodged an FIR with Rayagada Police since March 2011 is rounding the offices to get some information about her husband and get him back. After missing of her husband, Malati – who was solely dependant on her husband’s salary – does not get any financial support from the department her husband was working in.

With one son at standard seven in a private school and a daughter at class ten in Rourkela Police High School, Malati is constantly facing threats from the schools to pay the fees or take the children away. But, Malati is helpless as simple survival has become the biggest challenge for her since Kishore’s missing. Living miserably without any source of income, Malati is very much upset with the way the local police and administration works for the rescue of her husband. “I have lodged an FIR. Neither the Office nor the police have done anything to bring my husband back. I have informed the police about a few calls I have received from the mobile number my husband was using. The callers, whom I believe to be the abductors, ask me from time to time to put some balance money with the number so that they would allow me to talk to my husband. Every time, I put money but I have never talked to my husband. The same callers also called a few other times from different other numbers. The police is maintaining its indifference towards my FIR and the case of my husband”, says Malati Tudu in a chocking voice.

Malati is rounding the civil supplies office and the Police station almost regularly waiting for some action by the police in the direction of rescuing her husband. But the police has not made any breakthrough in the case. “The case is lodged since March 2011 and is under investigation. Since there is no development in the case, we are now planning for a scientific investigation for a quick breakthrough”, says J. R. Rao, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rayagada.

The case of Kishore’s missing and regular rounding by Malati Tudu in the Rayagada Civil Supplies Office and police station expecting that someone must act to rescue her husband explain how apathetic the government and administration are towards different categories of its employees. For a safe return of abducted IAS officer R. Vineel Krishna, the government of Orissa and its bureaucracy took all possible measures and agreed to most of the conditions put by the Maoists to make the negotiation successful. But in case of Kishore – a driver working in Orissa government’s civil supplies office – neither the office nor the administration even bothered to take immediate action and inform the local police to investigate and trace out the employee who went missing mysteriously.

While talking over telephone Malati asked, I don’t understand how the government has been so callous about rescuing my husband who was a part of its machinery – even though as a driver? How my husband’s life and the lives of three other dependants like me, my son and daughter are just meaningless for a government that must protect us and let us live our own life peacefully? Talking of development and rights of the poor and disadvantaged, is it not how the government itself is having a discriminatory attitude towards its officers and other employees?

The questions raised by Malati do directly question the kind of administration and political governance running in the state of Orissa and the kind of bureaucracy operating in the state that is hardly concerned about the other government employees and their families. However, Malati is still waiting with the hope that someone will surely initiate action to bring her husband back to her family.

 

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