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Accused of bias, IAS officer gives himself the boot

Stung by allegations, the senior HUDA officer overseeing razing of illegal structures in Gurgaon hit himself with his shoe to prove his innocence.

In recent times, many eminent politicians and people in the public eye have received the shoe-treatment. Late on Sunday night in Gurgaon, senior IAS officer Parveen Kumar took matters into his own hands. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) administrator hit himself with his shoes to win over an agitated crowd.


Corruption my foot! IAS officer Parveen Kumar, surrounded by security
officials, with the shoe (encircled). Pic/MiD DAY 


Kumar was overseeing razing of illegal structures in Sikanderpur area of Gurgaon when a group of villagers expressed their fury. They alleged that he had favoured a known builder.




Hammer and tongs: Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA)
administrator Parveen Kumar (above) and the demolition drive in
progress in Gurgaon on Monday. Pics/MiD DAY


When all his attempts to pacify the mob came out fruitless, the IAS officer took off a shoe and started hitting himself on the head with it repeatedly to prove his innocence. He said, he had never taken a bribe in his life and if people had suspicions about him, then he must punish himself.

Kumar also started touching the feet of some elderly people in the gathering. The officer's action had a dramatic effect. People who were protesting the demolition drive rushed back to their homes. The drive went on till Monday evening, overseen by the officer, who dozed off on the pavement when he felt sleepy. Amid high security, the demolition squad pulled down several buildings including some major showrooms.

Kumar was earlier deputy commissioner in Faridabad where he carried out special drives for sanitation and against encroachment of public land. He registered more the 20 FIRs against corrupt officers.

Shoeing
Unlike Parveen Kumar, these politicians had some help:
On December 14, 2008, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at then US President George Bush in a press conference in Baghdad.
On February 2, 2009, a German protester threw his shoe at Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao as he gave a speech at Cambridge University.
On 7 April 2009, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was shoed by Jarnail Singh, a Sikh journalist during a press conference in Delhi.
On 16 April 2009, senior BJP leader L K Advani was shoed by his own party member, Pawas Agarwal, a former district vice-president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Katni Town in Madhya Pradesh.
On June 6 2011, an attempt was made by a journalist identified as Sunil Kumar, a scribe from Nav Sanchar Patrika of Rajasthan to hurl a shoe at Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi.

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