To add further insult to injury, senior AAP leaders like Manish Sisodia have likened the IAS association with the infamous Khap Panchayats. In a letter to Lt. Governor Anil Baijal, Sisodia alleged that if officers were scolded, the IAS association was issuing a fatwa like a Khap Panchayat.
This letter was in regards to the officers’ decision to not interact with the minister. This, as per the report, includes officers boycotting phone calls and meetings of ministers to protest against the assault on Delhi’s Chief Secretary. In the letter, Sisodia also accused the LG of siding with the officers.
Sisodia in the letter demeaned both the LG and IAS officers by claiming that, if an IAS officer complained to the LG that he was scolded by a minister, this resulted in Baijal wiping the tears off the officer, regardless of the latter’s inefficiency. He then alleged that if the AAP government says too much then IAS association like a Khap Panchayat would issue a fatwa against them, which possibly means not answering calls, responding to messages and attending meetings.
As per other reports, Sisodia claimed that LG was requested to order some officers to attend meetings, despite which, the LG wrote to Kejriwal that he reach out to the officers directly. The main boycott is being carried out by IAS, DANICS and DASS officers.
Such an attack on IAS officers has also been carried out by another AAP leader and MLA named Saurabh Bharadwaj. In a tweet, he is seen as alleging that the head of officers’ Khap Panchayat lives in the Raj Bhawan, while possibly referring to the LG:
बाबुओं की खाप पंचायत के असली प्रधान राज भवन में रहते हैं !!
— Saurabh Bharadwaj (@Saurabh_MLAgk) February 28, 2018
What might signal outrage over this comment by the senior AAP leaders is the controversial nature of these Khap Panchayats. Just in January, the Supreme Court had ruled that it was illegal for the Khap Panchayats to attack consenting couples for opting to carry out an inter-caste marriage. Besides this, it has been noted in the past that a UP Khap had barred girls from wearing jeans and carrying mobile phones. One Haryana Khap had in the past blamed eating noodles for rapes.