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MP IAS caught with pants down: A villain or a victim?
Dnyaneshwar Patil, an IAS official was suspended by the MP govt after he was filmed and shown on TV without his pants along with a junior official. But there can be another side to a coin, which says the officer was framed with an ulterior motive?

IF SOURCES are to be believed then the Madhya Pradesh IAS official, who was shown with his pants down in his office and later suspended by the Chief Minister for allegedly seeking sexual favours, could be a victim of a sting operation gone wrong rather than being the villain that he is being made out to be.

Dnyaneshwar Patil, a 2003 batch IAS official was suspended by the MP Government after he was filmed and shown on television without his pants along with a junior official.

People close to Patil and in the know of things are of the opinion that the IAS officer has been framed for not acquiescing to the unjust demands of a lobby of lower officials. They alleged that the entire sequence of filming Patil without his pants was planned and executed with an ulterior motive.

However, there is also a section of establishment in Madhya Pradesh, which believes that there can be no smoke without fire. A top media person based in Bhopal averred that no doubt a conspiracy was hatched to trap the IAS official but there were some chinks in his armour as well, pointing to the obvious. 

Narrating the entire sequence of events on the fateful day inside the chamber of Dnyaneshwar Patil, a highly placed source pointed that the officer could have been a victim of a conspiracy. Rubbishing the allegations of sexual harassment against Patil, he said that the officer was well known for his honesty and was a stickler for rules and that proved to be his undoing.

On the night of June 18, Dnyaneshwar Patil and his wife went to Rainbow hospital for treatment of their daughter around 8.30 pm. Thereafter, Patil was dropped at the Zila Parishad office around 9.10 pm and his wife went home to attend to the ailing child.
At around 9.30 pm, the alleged victim, Sikandarabad village panchayat secretary Satish Chaukse (23) dropped in the Zila Parishad officer, where there were two home guards present along with a private vehicle’s driver.

Chaukse was asked to come with the details of the expenditure made by the Self Helf Group (SHG), which is running the MDM in the Village school. Sources said that the Secretary to Chief Minister had asked Patil to do a cost analysis of the various items made by SHG, so that the system could be extended to Mahila Baal Vikas department in Madhya Pradesh and he had asked for a report by next morning. Thus, it became necessary to allow the Panchayat Secretary into the office where he was attending to regular file work.

However, when Chaukse reached the chamber of Dnyaneshwar Patil and was asked to show the records of the MDM, he baulked and instead produced the records of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREG). Chaukse, when asked, why he had not brought the MDM record, could not reply satisfactorily. He looked ill at ease and asked for a glass of water to drink.
 
Sources said that Patil asked Chaukse to go out and fetch water for him too after repeatedly sounding the bell, which was not attended to. After some time, Chaukse returned and brought water for the IAS officer, who was now going through the records (Rozgaar Panchi) of NREG, which were also not proper and the officer admonished him for the same.

Even as the IAS officer was going through records, Chaukse demanded that secretary of Bakaniya Gram Panchayat should be given regular pay scale, which Patil said was not possible as per law. Apparently angered by the refusal, Chaukse is alleged to have threatened the official and demanded regular scales for all secretaries.

Patil, however, said that regularisation depended on good work and the secretaries will again be given a chance next year as per provisions. As the discussion heated up, Patil asked Chaukse to leave the room and went to the attached toilet in his room to attend the nature's call.

The real drama, sources said, unfolded here as soon as Patil went inside the toilet, Chaukse started shouting 'Bachao, Bachao' loudly. Hearing the commotion a worried Patil opened the toilet door to see what had happened outside.

As soon as the door was opened, Chaukse, who was in his undergarments and shoes pulled open the door and barged into the toilet. Immediately, thereafter, Chaukse called the media men, who were waiting outside the cabin. Though Patil's cabin had no lock, the media preferred to stay outside till they got the signal that action had started. 

Sources further alleged that one of the persons snatched the pant from hands of the IAS officer even as he was trying to wear it. In the video made available by a news channel, there is a scene of a a person preventing Patil from getting back his pants. These pants were returned to the hapless officials after some time and he wore them soon after, the sources added.

The travesty is that despite the best efforts of the police and a complaint lodged to the effect in the State Human Rights Commission, the unedited tapes of incident are not being made available. The truth of the version of the alleged complainant and that of Patil could be easily verified by looking at these tapes – but than the “unedited” tapes that were given to the district administration, ironically start from the clips as seen on TV, it was stated.
 
Indeed, there is a few seconds clip of the verandah but thereafter, the camera  shows the face of Patil, it was disclosed. The video recording of the “distance” between Patil’s chamber door and his toilet door is conspicuous by its absence. And this is what people closely following the case are waiting to see!

Whether the media was taken for a ride or it was assured of Patil's guilt is an open question. However, it is important that the judgement  is not pronounced before proper investigation is conducted and justice is duly served.

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