New Delhi: An IAS officer, who had courted controversy after he taunted some Dalit leaders of the BSP for their ‘expensive clothes and cars’, has issued a public apology saying,’ it was childish to refer somebody’s watch, shoes or car’. “It was my mistake. It did not occur to me then, but now I feel it… I apologise,” tweeted Bhawani Singh Khangorat, the District Magistrate of Ballia.

On August 29, Khangorat had visited the Rampur primary school following media reports that some students bring plates from there home for mid-day meals and eat separately from Dalit students. The report had also claimed that  Dalit students there were made to sit separately from the upper caste children and were served food on banana leaves.

A team of BSP leaders had already reached the school and when the District Magistrate arrived, he said he was ‘astonished to find big cars parked outside the school’. “I don’t know which party they belonged to but from their attire, they looked like politicians. White clothes, expensive shoes, expensive watches. It seemed they were big and rich people,” he had told reporters.

Khangrot was brutally trolled on social media for his bizarre remarks on the “watches, shoes and cars” of the Dalit leaders.

The delegation of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had also accused the Ballia DM of making casteist statement. “District Magistrate said that the BSP people wearing good clothes and shoes are talking about Dalits. We want to know if Dalits don’t have the right to wear good clothes in BJP government?” the delegation had said.