On Sunday, 19th February 2023, D Roopa Moudgil, an IPS (Indian Police Service) officer, shared private photos of an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer, Rohini Sindhuri, on social media, alleging that by sending her pictures to male IAS officers, Rohini Sindhuri had broken the rules of service conduct.
On Monday, 20th February 2023, Karnataka’s Home Minister Araga Jnanendra termed this behavior of the officers bad and warned them of action. Many in the Karnataka administration were surprised by a public argument between two senior female officials.
D Roopa published the photos on her Facebook page, alleging that Ms. Sindhuri shared them with three IAS officers in 2021 and 2022. D Roopa had issued a long list of corruption allegations against Ms. Sindhuri a day before that. She stated she had also approached Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Chief Secretary Vandita Sharma with her concerns.
Ms. Sindhuri, enraged, issued a statement on Sunday accusing D Roopa of waging a “false, personal vilification campaign” against her and warned her of legal action. Ms. Sindhuri said, “She collected photos from social media and screenshots of (my) WhatsApp status to defame me. As she has alleged that I sent these pictures to some officials, I urge her to reveal their names.”
She added, “Mental illness is a huge problem, it needs to be addressed by medication and counseling. When it affects people in responsible positions, it becomes all the more dangerous. She has been driving false, personal vilification campaigns against me which is her standard modus operandi.”
The Karnataka Home Minister stated that he had talked about the incident with the chief of police and that the Chief Minister was also aware of it. Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said, “We are not sitting quiet, action will be taken against them. They both are behaving in such a bad way – not even normal people speak on the streets like this. Let them do whatever they want on their personal issues, but coming before the media and behaving the way they are is not right.”
Ms. Sindhuri is the Commissioner of the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Department, and D Roopa is the Managing Director of the Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation. Images of Ms. Sindhuri dining with Janata Dal (Secular) Legislator Sa Ra Mahesh in a restaurant recently went viral, sparking the conflict. When Ms. Sindhuri was appointed in Mysuru in 2021, the two had multiple public disputes accusing each other of corruption. D Roopa questioned why an IAS official would meet with a politician, implying that the two had formed a pact. The allegation was dismissed by Ms. Sindhuri.