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Panel orders action on BDO
- Officer denies suicide threat outside commission office

The state information commissioner on Monday ordered the Saran district administration to take action against the Ekma block development officer for allegedly threatening to commit suicide outside the panel’s office.

Ekma BDO-cum-public information officer (PIO) Rekha Kumari had allegedly threatened to stage a dharna and commit suicide last Friday if a penalty of Rs 25,000 imposed on her was not withdrawn. Information commissioner Farzand Ahmad, directed the Saran district magistrate (DM) and the superintendent of police (SP) to take administrative and legal action against her before “something unfortunate could be committed by the lady”.

Ahmad had imposed the penalty on Rekha for being absent from hearings and not furnishing information sought by a petitioner. The DM has been asked to deduct the penalty from her salary in five instalments, following which she lost her temper and created a scene. “She stormed into my office and created an ugly scene. She threatened to commit suicide if the penalty was not withdrawn,” Ahmad said.

Rekha had failed to provide information on an inquiry ordered by the DM into alleged irregularities in the installation of solar lights in the district. Ahmad said: “This is the first incident of its kind in the country in which a PIO indulged in indecent behaviour before the SIC, spoke harshly about her superior (the DM) and tried to put pressure on the SIC by threatening to kill herself in the court room to get the order withdrawn.”

When The Telegraph contacted Rekha, she denied having threatened to sit on dharna or commit suicide if the fine slapped on her was not withdrawn. “I had appeared before the court and pleaded that the panchayat sachiv happens to be information officer at block-level,” she said.

She also expressed ignorance over the information commission taking cognisance of her behaviour in court. Saran DM Vinay Kumar said he has not received any letter from the information commission yet but stressed that he would take action once he received the letter.