SRINAGAR: As Kashmir is keenly watching the new breed of administrators take birth, a family in Delhi is mourning its IAS officer who was supposed to join his services in Srinagar on Thursday. Had he been alive, he would have spent Wednesday in IMPARD for a routine per-induction course.
But the 30-year old officer Ashish Dahiya is subject matter of a probe. He is stated to have died by drowning in a swimming pool but the family says he was an ace swimmer. The location was the swimming pool at the Foreign Service Institute in Ber Sarai.
Dahiya was one of the two IAS officers allocated to J&K cadre. A fortnight back, he had won the Director’s Gold Medal during his IAS training.
Before taking the flight to Srinagar, Dahiya and his friends from IFS and Revenue service had arranged a party. Then they want to stroll near the pool. Suddenly a woman colleague slipped into pool. Many of her colleagues jumped in. They rescue her. Later, they found Dahiya missing. He was found floating, dead. He was rushed to Fortis Hospital where he was declared brought dead.
Ishwar Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), was quoted saying: “Prima facie, the team that carried out the post-mortem has said that the death was due to drowning and there were no injuries on the body.” Police suspect they had consumed alcohol.
Dahiya’s uncle Kuldeep has said his nephew was an ace swimmer and had crossed a five-kilometer stretch across Bhakra Nangal dam. As a DySP in Himachal, he had even won a gold medal in swimming. Married for three years, his wife Pragya is a doctor. She is also preparing for UPSC examination.
In Srinagar, the IMPARD broke into a condolence meeting. Soon messages of shock and sympathy for the family came from the Raj Bhawan, the Chief Minster’s office and the Chief Secretary B B Vyas. But the mystery remains: was Dahiya drowned or was it a murder as the family claims.