When GM Sadiq ordered CS to ‘deport’ Home Secretary LP Singh alongwith his dog
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
When union Home Secretary, LP Singh, found an occasion to enjoy a holiday with his family in
Kashmir, he did not bother to inform Chief Minister. Singh’s intimate friend, PK Dave, who served as Chief Secretary in Sadiq’s government, years before he became union Defence Secretary and Lt Governor of on his retirement, made all arrangements. As nicely as Omar Abdullah’s Chief Secretary Madhav Lal did for RK Singh on August 10th. Delhi
Madhav Lal, a 1977-batch IAS officer, is junior to RK Singh, a 1975-batch IAS office of Bihar Cadre who served as Home Secretary of Bihar before he went on a Central deputation and was elevated as union Home Secretary with effect from 1st of July, 2011. Descendants of Dave and LP Singh are also, by coincidence, from
Delhi and Bihar respectively. After LP Singh, RK Singh has the distinction of becoming Bihar’s second IAS officer who rose to the position of union Home Secretary in the last 64 years.
Before leaving Civil Secretariat for his Gagribal residence, Chief Minister Sadiq called private secretary Nazir Ahmad to inform him that he would be putting up the night at the VIP hut at Dachhigam. Nazir, accordingly, asked Director of Hospitality & Protocol, Biswas, to make necessary arrangements for the CM’s weekend stay at Dachhigam.
When Chief Secretary Dave learned from Biswas that CM intended to see dozens of the pending files at Dachhigam, he asked him for change of venue to Cheshma Shahi. Saturday used to be a working day those days. For years previously, Biswas had served as Sadiq’s aide. He was his PA when Sadiq headed Constituent Assembly over a decade back.
Biswas requested CM to change venue and revealed to him that the union Home Secretary LP Singh was staying at Dachhigam---Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s favourite resthouse in the famous
. Dachhigam National Park
“Who has ordered his stay there?” asked CM. Biswas explained that LP Singh was Chief Secretary’s close friend. “Is he alone?” CM asked. “Sir, he is there with family and a dog”, a nervous Director of H&P quipped. CM asked Biswas to return and ensure that the resthouse is fully clear by 5.00 p.m. He asked Nazir to convey to CS that LP Singh be evicted and deported to
on the first available flight or else by road. Delhi
Thereupon, Dave made his last ditch attempt to save Singh from inconvenience and humiliation. He came rushing to Gagribal and informed CM that the VVIP hut at Dachhigam would be clear by 5.00 pm. “What about the second part of my order?” CM asked CS. As Dave began to plead that Singh was his old time friend and had arrived in alongwith family, Sadiq asserted tersely: “Tell your friend that Kashmir is not a joy spot for the bureaucrats from
and their dogs. Send him back to Delhi before evening”. Delhi
Resolute and die-hard, Dave sought Nazir’s advice as to how Singh could be saved from humiliation. Nazir told him that nobody other than sister Zainab Begum could make Sadiq Sahab relent. Then General Secretary of J&K Pradesh Congress Committee, Zainab would brief her brother about political matters and developments almost on daily basis at 4.00 pm. Roped in by Dave, Zainab motivated Sadiq after a great deal of labour. Sadiq then issued his NOC to Singh’s staying at Cheshma Shahi “for a couple of days”.
LP Singh was one of
’s most respected and competent bureaucrats who had closely worked with Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Later, he shot into prominence as the author of “Portrait of Lal Bahadur Shastri”. When Sadiq was reading files under a Chinar on the lush green lawns of the VVIP hut next morning, Singh made an unscheduled entry. “Sir, I’m extremely sorry that Dave has not informed you about my private visit”, he apologized to CM. Known for his politeness and kind mannerism, Sadiq offered him a seat and did not let him go back without sipping a cup of coffee. India