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IRS officer who criticized Nirmala suspended 2 days before retirement

Indian Revenue Services (IRS) officer B Balamurugan, who had complained to President Murmu against Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, was suspended on January 29 and disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him, as per an official notice.

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While the notice doesn’t specify the cause for his suspension, it coincides with his imminent formal retirement in two days. The officer was set to retire on January 31.

Previously, Balamurugan gained attention for criticising Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a letter to President Droupadi Murmu, urging her removal. In the letter, he accused the minister of making Enforcement Directorate (ED) an extended arm of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and highlighted alleged victimisation of Dalit farmers by the ED in Tamil Nadu.

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Balamurugan, who held the post of Deputy Commissioner of Goods and Service Tax (GST) in Chennai, asserted that Sitharaman transformed the ED into a BJP policy enforcement directorate and demanded her dismissal, deeming her “unfit to be the Finance Minister of India.”

The ED, earlier summoned two Dalit farmers, Kannaiyan and Krishnan, in a case against a local BJP leader, which triggered public outcry due to alleged targeting based on caste. The ED, despite stating intentions to close the case against the farmers on January 4, is yet to do so.

Balamurugan’s wife, Dalit Pravina, serves as the lawyer representing the affected farmers.

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