As reported by D P Bhattacharya in on 30 March 2008:
Band of Brothers: An SC, an ST and a backward, all in one family - ExpressIndia.Com

Band of Brothers: An SC, an ST and a backward, all in one family

Ahmedabad, March 29 They are real brothers — all of them grade one officers with the state government. But the similarity among three Varsani brothers ends here. While one hails from the Vanja community, a Scheduled Tribe, another is from the Bansfodia community, a socially and educationally backward community and yet another is a Vankar — a Scheduled Caste.

Zapped? Well, one is bound to be, after hearing the tales of Kutch District Collector RR Varsani and his two brothers NR Varsani and MR Varsani. The story of this band of brothers came to light after a Right to Information (RTI) application was filed by a city-based tribal rights activist Babubhai Chauhan before the General Administration Department (GAD). The documents obtained by Chauhan (copies of which are with this paper) show that while RR Varsani belongs to the Vanja community marked as a Scheduled Caste, his brother MR Varsani, Additional District Planning Officer, Porbandar, claimed concession for a community marked as socially and economically backward class.

Interestingly, while the analomy of the senior among the brothers, NR Varsani, who joined the state Revenue Department as a deputy collector in April 11, 1967 using a fake caste certificate of Vankar (weaver) community was detected, he was let off by the department with a mere warning. While the General Administration Department on record admitted that criminal proceedings should have been initiated against him, the department concerned was contemplating actions in accordance with the rules. NR Varsani, meanwhile, has retired from his services without facing any action for his act.

The GAD, in its response to Chauhan, said that RR Varsani did not mention anything regarding his backward status, his school, Sir Pratap High School, Idar, certified him as a member of the Vanja Scheduled Tribe .

While Chauhan alleges that the three brothers obtained benefits by claiming themselves to be members of reserved categories in a fraudulent fashion, noted sociologist Gaurang Jani said that the surname Varsani suggests either a Sindhi or a Lohana origin. Neither of these two communities are in any of the reserved categories. “They may be from the backward communities; it is likely that they have acquired an ancestral name instead of their community’s name,” Jani added.

Kutch District Collector RR Varsani, meanwhile, has reacted sharply to Chauhan's efforts. “It is painful to see people raking these issues times and again,” he said, adding “You can check up my details to ascertain that I have never claimed any benefit of reserved category in my career.” He said his family has been using the Varsani surname for the past nine generations. “Our original surname was Mandaliya,” he added.

When contacted, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, Vilasini Ramchandran, pointed out that though the senior of the Varsani brothers was with the department, the issue of fake caste certificates was a matter to be taken care of by the GAD. “The matter had been brought to my notice and I had also given a hearing to Chauhan,” she said.

GAD Joint Secretary Harsh Brahmbhatt, when contacted, said that while there was a caste certificate issue with the senior Varsani, there was no such issue with the other two brothers. “The issue had been raised and resolved,” he added.

However, a highly placed official pointed out that there are numerous cases of people using fake caste certificates for getting government jobs. “While people do exploit the loopholes of reservation policy and certifications, nothing much has been done really to make the process foolproof,” he added.

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