New Delhi: The IAS officer, suspended by the Election Commission (EC) for checking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chopper in Odisha, has been an ardent critic of the Modi government on social media.
His Twitter account comes with the customary “RTs are not endorsement” disclaimer, but if the content he retweets is anything to go by, the 1996-batch IAS officer is an extremely vocal critic of the government.
Originally from the Karnataka cadre, Mohammed Mohsin was appointed General Observer in Odisha for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. However, he was abruptly suspended by the EC Tuesday for allegedly not following its instructions. The suspension came shortly after Mohsin had inspected Modi’s chopper in Sambalpur, which delayed the Prime Minister by 20 minutes.
On Thursday, amid widespread criticism over Mohsin’s suspension, the EC said it has appointed a senior official to submit a report regarding the suspension.
Mohsin’s suspension has triggered a massive controversy with the Opposition parties such as the Congress hitting out at the EC for suspending an official unceremoniously for checking the PM’s chopper.
While most bureaucrats remain extremely cautious to not come across as anti-government on social media, Mohsin’s tweets and retweets have been rather anti-establishment.
In his tweet on 2 March, Mohsin had tweeted a picture of English novelist George Orwell’s famous quote: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
Dear Friends . Do you agree ?? pic.twitter.com/TogUo4KvrY
— Mohammad Mohsin (@mmiask) March 2, 2019
Mohsin also retweeted the Editors Guild of India’s statement, condemning the government’s stand in the Supreme Court in the Rafale case. The government had said that certain documents should not be considered by the top court because they were “stolen” from the Defence ministry and therefore violated the Official Secrets Act.
The Editors Guild of India has issued a statement. pic.twitter.com/zuMotHnXm7
— Editors Guild of India (@IndEditorsGuild) March 7, 2019
The bureaucrat had also retweeted a tweet by journalist Sagarika Ghose in which she had shared a news report on BJP leader B.S. Yedyurappa where he said India’s “preemptive” strikes in Pakistan earlier this year created a wave in favour of the PM.
Very serious revelation by Mr @BSYBJP. Was there political design behind sending that hazardous IAF mission over Pak air space? Are politicians playing with the lives of India's bravest for their political gains? What if those pilots had been shot down?https://t.co/b3w0HlIs5G
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) February 28, 2019
Mohsin had also shared a news article on the murder of Kannada scholar M.M. Kalburgi and Bangalore-based journalist Gauri Lankesh.
He had also retweeted a tweet by former Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi in which she had questioned why the government did not airlift CRPF personnel who were eventually attacked in Pulwama.
BJP has spent thousands on publicity&chartered aircrafts
BJP has spent lakhs for its party HQ&offices
BJP has spent crores in its campaign
But when armed forces asked for helicopters to move their stranded men, BJP government turned them down.
Why? The nation seeks answers pic.twitter.com/bPvXrQ0oU0
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) February 17, 2019
Mohsin’s career as a bureaucrat
A graduate in commerce from Patna University, Mohsin began his career as an IAS officer as a Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Kundapur district of Karnataka.
Since then, Mohsin was posted several times in Karnataka in his 23-year career. He is currently posted as the secretary in the backward class welfare department of Karnataka government.
While the IAS Association has not formally taken a stand on his suspension, the body’s secretary Abhishek Chandra called the incident “unfortunate.”
“We haven’t got a chance to look at the issue properly because everyone is on poll duty right now,” he said. “But the incident is unfortunate.”
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