You might have come across videos and news clippings across social media of B Chandrakala, the IAS officer from Uttar Pradesh with captions like ‘Lady Dabbang’, ‘IAS Singham’, etc. Such was the stature of Chandrakala, now accused and raided in investigations of the illegal sand mining scam.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday, 5 January carried out searches at 12 locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi , including the residence of Chandrakala in connection with illegal sand mining case, a dent to her image of being the anti-corruption crusader.
The Noida and Lucknow residences of Chandrakala were also raided.
A UP cadre IAS officer of the 2008-batch, Chandrakala shot to fame in 2014 after a video of her reprimanding officers in Bulandshahr went viral in 2014.
Her social media is filled with pictures and videos of her taking up every possible good cause like cleanliness campaigns, child rights, education and environment.
One video showed her scolding organisers of a sports event for poor sanitary conditions for participants. Another clip showed her pulling up a civic contractor for using low quality bricks at a construction site.
According to The Times of India (TOI), the courtesy of her image on social media goes to a brand-building team she hired for herself, that sent videos to news channels regularly with an aim to build her image as an ‘anti-corruption’ crusader.
She also found herself in the middle of a controversy after an 18-year-old boy was taken into custody allegedly for trying to take a selfie with her.
Presently, Chandrakala has over 8.6 million followers on Facebook, more than former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and the current UP CM Yogi Adityanath.
Daughter of a retired senior technician in the Fertiliser Corporation of India (FCI) in Telangana’s Ramagundam, Chandrakala is a graduate in Geography from Koti Women’s College under Osmania University in Hyderabad according to Hindustan Times (HT). Chandrakala then did her post-graduation in Economics and cracked IAS in her first attempt in 2008.
Her husband A Ramulu works as a deputy executive engineer in Sriramsagar Project at Lower Manair Dam in Karimnagar town.
Chandrakala had worked in Allahabad, Hamirpur, Mathura, Bulandshahr and Meerut, before being picked up by the NDA government as the director of Swachh Bharat Mission under Union ministry of drinking water and sanitation.
In August 2017, she also received an award from UP CM Yogi Adityanath for her work in the Swachh Bharat Mission as the District Magistrate of Bijnor.
She was prematurely repatriated to her cadre, Uttar Pradesh in February 2018.
According to PTI, Chandrakala was the district magistrate of Hamirpur during 2012-14 when she allegedly violated e-tender system of allotting mining contracts in her district, the FIR said.
"The role of the then mining ministers concerned during the relevant period may be looked into during the course of investigation of the case," the FIR said.
It is alleged that Chandrakala in criminal conspiracy with other officials illegally granted fresh leases, renewed existing ones and permitted obstructed period to the existing lease holders in violation of e-tendering process initiated by the government.
The FIR also accused her and other suspects of allegedly allowing illegal mining, extortion from the lease holders and drivers of the vehicles transporting minerals.
(With inputs from The Times of India, Hindustan Times and PTI.)
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