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Karnataka Officers' Epic Spat: Who Are IPS Roopa Moudgil & IAS Rohini Sindhuri?

Here's a look at the past actions of Karnataka IPS officer Roopa D Moudgil and IAS officer Rohini Sindhuri Dasari.

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Edited By :Nikhila Henry

It all started on 19 February, when IPS officer Roopa D Moudgil accused IAS officer Rohini Sindhuri Dasari of sending her private photos to three other Karnataka bureaucrats. Moudgil posted the purported photos of Dasari on social media and levelled 19 allegations of corruption against her.

A day later, Dasari made a comeback by tacitly implying that Moudgil has mental illness – she posted online a ‘get well soon’ message. On 21 February, both the officers – who had lodged complaints against each other before Karnataka Chief Secretary Vanditha Sharma – were transferred without posting. The public spat, intricate private details of which are being played out on Kannada news channels, has not yet ended.

On Wednesday, 22 February, in a social media post Moudgil asked media to “focus on the corruption issue” she had raised.
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Moudgil was the Managing Director of Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation and Dasari was the Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments. Roopa Moudgil's husband and IAS officer Munish Moudgi was also  transferred  from the post of Commissioner of Department of Survey, Settlement and Land Records, after the spat. He is now posted as Principal Secretary, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms.

Both the women officers, who are known for the intelligence, share a common trait – they are no strangers to controversies, many of which resulted in their untimely transfers.  

Speaking to The Quint, a political analyst, who commented on the condition of anonymity, called them “misguided missiles”  for expending their creativity, capability, and energies in taking on each other, without proof and in public. Both officers have been asked not to talk to the media or put up posts on social media. While speculation is rife among bureaucrats and in media circles about the ongoing tiff, here’s a look at the officers’ professional track record.

Who Is Roopa D Moudgil?

Roopa Moudgil was ranked 43rd in her time’s UPSC examination. She is a year 2000 batch IPS officer and is 48 years of age.

Moudgil grabbed national headlines in 2004, when an all-woman police team led by her arrested firebrand BJP leader Uma Bharati who had ignored several court ordered summons over her alleged involvement in the Hubballi Idgah Maidan communal clashes of 1994.

Here's a look at the past actions of Karnataka IPS officer Roopa D Moudgil and IAS officer Rohini Sindhuri Dasari.

Roopa D Moudgil has levelled allegations of corruption against IAS officer Rohini Sindhuri Dasari. 

(Photo: Facebook)

Years later, in 2017, Moudgil was in the limelight again when she accused senior officer HN Sathyanarayana Rao of giving preferential treatment to former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader V K Sasikala, while she was serving her sentence in a Bengaluru prison.

In a report, she alleged Rs 2 crore was paid to jail officials to provide illegal facilities to Sasikala. Rao asked Moudgil for evidence to back her allegations. Soon after, she was transferred out of the Prisons Department and was posted as the Traffic and Road Safety Commissioner.

In 2020, Moudgil was involved in a public spat with Inspector General Police Hemanth Nimbalakar, who at the time was the Additional Commissioner of Police (Administration), Bengaluru City Police. The dispute pertained to the Safe City Project.

Nimbalkar wrote to the Karnataka Chief Secretary seeking an inquiry against the IPS officer for attempting to gain classified information about a tender. After the government ordered a probe into the matter, Roopa admitted that she had called a project management consultant to enquire about the tender.

However, she maintained that she had found serious irregularities in the tender file. This triggered a row, prompting the state government to shunt both the officers out.

Moudgil was known for her upright stand. As Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of the City Armed Reserve, she withdrew police vehicles that were being used in the cavalcade of former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, citing violation of protocol. As DCP in Bengaluru, she recalled a number of police personnel who had been deployed without authorisation as orderlies to VVIPs and politicians.

Earlier, Moudgil had taken on BJP MP Prathap Simha for his comments on transfers in the police department. Simha had claimed that honest state IPS officers were seeking central postings as they were facing troubles in the state. Moudgil responded by asking him not to politicise the bureaucracy.

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Who Is Rohini Sindhuri Dasari?

A student of Chemical Engineering from Hyderabad, Dasari chose civil services as she did not want to  go abroad.  “I did not want to end up designing boilers. Civil services is a profession which is close to  politics and  the media and everyday is a challenge, ‘’ Dasari had told this correspondent earlier. She is a 2009 batch IAS officer and is 39 years of age.

In 2015, Dasari became a champion for the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan as Madya district, under her administration as Chief Executive Officer, became the first in Karnataka to reach the 100 percent mark in toilet construction. She was decorated by the Union government for this achievement.   
Here's a look at the past actions of Karnataka IPS officer Roopa D Moudgil and IAS officer Rohini Sindhuri Dasari.

Rohini Sindhuri Dasari, a Karnataka IAS officer has accused IAS officer Roopa Moudgil of targeting her.

(Photo: Facebook)

However, Dasari did land in many controversies while in office.

Dasari’s name had surfaced in a probe into the mysterious death of DK Ravi, an IAS officer, in 2015. While Ravi had reportedly sent texts to Dasari before his demise, the closure report into the probe filed in 2016 absolved her of any involvement.

In 2018, during the Mahamastakabhisheka, anointing of Lord Bahubali at Shravanabelagola, Dasari who was Hassan Deputy Commissioner was transferred out following complaints of corruption levelled by Minister A Manju. She obtained a stay from Karnataka High Court.

More recently, during the peak of a COVID wave in 2021, Dasari, who was Mysuru Deputy Commissioner, was accused by her Chamarajanagar counterpart of not supplying oxygen cylinders to the Chamarajanagar COVID Hospital. Twenty four COVID patients had died due to shortage of oxygen at the time. Later, a High Court appointed panel gave clean chit to Dasari.

The same year,  JD(S) MLA Sa Ra Mahesh accused Dasari of a ‘cloth bag scam.’ According to the MLA, who was earlier accused of encroaching upon a Rajakaluve (major drain) to construct a wedding hall, Dasari, the then Mysuru deputy commissioner, had procured 14.71 lakh cloth bags at inflated rates to run a campaign to go plastic-free.

Both MLA Mahesh and MP Prathap Simha accused Dasari of misdirecting government funds to construct a swimming pool and indoor gym at the official residence of Mysuru Deputy Commissioner, which she was occupying then.

In  2021  the tussle between Dasari and  another IAS officer Shilpa Nag who was the Commissioner of Mysuru  City Corporation led to both of them being shunted out. Nag had accused Dasari of “humiliating” her and denying her professional appreciation.

It remains to be seen whether the Karnataka government would take any other disciplinary action against the two officers who currently stand transferred.

(Naheed Ataulla is a senior journalist based in Bengaluru, Karnataka.)

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Edited By :Nikhila Henry
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