In an incident that could be abuse of power, an IAS officer in Karnataka was carried by residents of a village in Raichur district on their shoulders, to make him cross a large puddle of water.
Television visuals show two villagers lifting Raichur Zilla Panchayat CEO Kurma Rao on their shoulders, and carrying him through the slush. The officer was reportedly in the area to inspect the implementation of government schemes.
While there is a lot of outrage in the media over the young officer’s apparent high-handed behaviour, Kurma Rao has denied any abuse of power. He insisted that it was the locals who carried him despite his reluctance.
“I had gone walking for more than a kilometre with the villagers into the interior area. At the end, near Burdipada village, there was a lot of seepage water stagnated in a field. The villagers insisted vehemently that they will carry me across. Though I refused, and asked them not to, they carried me across on their shoulders,” Rao told reporters.
“I would never ask anyone to do something like this,” Rao insisted. “Yesterday we had visited four habitations, and today, after this one, we visited another habitation as well to find out how our schemes are working. Yesterday, we were on the visit till 8.30pm. I was walking all the way, but in between here, the villagers compelled me and carried me on their shoulders,” he claimed.
Rao was on the ground to study the status of drinking water programmes and worker’s conditions in Athkoor, Burdipada, Chandrabanda villages of the districts.