Sunil is a young civil servant and has a reputation for his competence, integrity, dedication and relentlessness in pursuit of difficult and onerous jobs. Considering his profile, he was picked up by his bosses to handle a very challenging and sensitive assignment. He was posted in a tribal-dominated district notorious for illegal sand mining. Excavating sand from river belts and transporting it through trucks and selling them in the black market was rampant. This illegal sand mining mafia was operating with the support of local functionaries and tribal musclemen who in turn were bribing selected poor tribals and had kept the tribals under fear and intimidation. Sunil being a sharp and energetic officer immediately grasped the ground realities and the modus operandi followed by the mafia through their devious and dubious mechanism. On making inquiries, he gathered that some of their own office employees are in hand and glove with them and have developed close unholy nexus. Sunil initiated stringent action against them and started conducting raids on their illegal operations of the movement of trucks filled with sand. The mafia got rattled as not many officers in the past had taken such strong steps against the mafia. Some of the office employees who were allegedly close to the mafia informed them that the officer is determined to clean up the mafia’s illegal sand mining operations in that district and may cause them irreparable damage. The mafia turned hostile and launched a counter-offensive. The tribal musclemen and mafia started threatening him with dire consequences. His family (wife and old mother) were stalked and were under virtual surveillance and thus causing mental torture, agony and stress to all of them. The matter assumed serious proportions when a muscleman came to his office and threatened him to stop raids etc., otherwise, his fate will not be different than some of his predecessors (ten years back one officer was killed by the mafia) [2021]

a) Identify the different options available to Sunil in attending this situation

b) Critically evaluate each of the options listed by you.

c) Which of the above, do you think, would be most appropriate for Sunil to adopt and why?

(Answer in 250 words)

a) Some options available to Sunil in this situation are:

  1. Ignore the threats and continue with his work: Sunil can choose to ignore the threats and continue with his efforts to curb illegal sand mining.
  2. Seek help from the police: Sunil can report the threats to the police and seek protection.
  3. Seek assistance from his superiors: Sunil can inform his superiors about the threats and request assistance.
  4. Transfer to another location: Sunil can request a transfer to another location, away from the tribal-dominated district.

b) Each of the above options has its own pros and cons.

  1. Ignoring the threats may show Sunil’s bravery and dedication, but it may also be dangerous and irresponsible.
  2. Seeking help from the police may provide some security, but it may also create additional risks and complications.
  3. Seeking assistance from his superiors may provide some support, but it may also be seen as a sign of weakness and may undermine his credibility.
  4. Transferring to another location may provide some relief, but it may also be seen as a defeat, and may discourage other officers from taking similar action.

c) Considering the risks and benefits of each option, the most appropriate option for Sunil to adopt may be to seek help from the police and inform his superiors about the threats. This option may provide some security and support, while also preserving Sunil’s credibility and autonomy. It may also send a message to the mafia that Sunil is not alone, and that the authorities are aware of their actions.

Mind map notes for UPSC
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