Retired IAS officer Umrao Salodia & 5 others were remanded in custody on Monday till Sept 5 for their involvement in a land grabbing case which was registered in 2013 & investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
The case was filed by 7 stakeholders who accused Salodia, the then chairman of the revenue board, & other officials of taking decisions & conspiring to defraud them of around 70 bighas in Harmada worth hundreds of crore by favouring another party in a land dispute.
Nanagram Sharma, a complainant in the case & a retired district judge,told “Salodia took the decision to allow another party to grab our land without actually having any right over it. For the last 7 years, I & other stakeholders have been fighting the legal battle to reveal that all the accused had done injustice & indulged in corruption & forgery. There are enough records for these which has been investigated by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).”
In 2015, Salodia had taken voluntary retirement & claimed to have converted to Islam & changed his name to Umrao Khan.The bureaucrat had publicly declared to have converted to Islam in protest against the previous Vasundhara Raje govt, which denied him a chance to become the chief secretary on the seniority basis by granting a 3-month extension to the then incumbent C S Rajan in Dec 2015.
During his protest in 2015, Salodia said that he was the first Dalit to become an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer in the state & would have been the first Dalit to occupy the top bureaucratic post of the chief secretary. But the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) govt conspired & granted extension to Rajan only to deny him (Salodia) the chance. Alleging bias against him on caste grounds, the officer had quit govt service 6 months before he was due to retire on June 30, 2016. He had simultaneously changed his surname to Khan. However, when he contested the recent Lok Sabha election as a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate from Jaipur seat he used his original surname.