Rinkoo Singh Rahee is an Indian civil servant who is known for his whistleblowing activities when he exposed the Rs 83 Crore Muzaffarnagar Welfare Department scam in 2009. He is also known for securing the 683 rank in the 2021 UPSC examination in his 16th attempt.
Rinkoo Singh Rahee was born on Thursday, 20 May 1982 (age 40 years; as of 2022) in Dori Nagar, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. In 1997, Rinkoo Singh Rahee completed his schooling at Naurangi Lal Government Inter College at Aligarh. In 2002, Rinkoo Rahee completed his graduation in BTech (Metallurgy) at the National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur. In 2015, Rinkoo earned a Master of Arts degree from the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
Rinkoo Singh Rahee was born in a lower-middle-class family.
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Shivdan Singh. He owns a small flour mill in Aligarh. His mother is a homemaker.
His brother’s name is Dinesh Rahee. Dinesh is a former employee of the UP government.
His sister’s name is Kalpana Rahee.
Wife & Children
Rinkoo Singh Rahee is married. He has a son.
Provincial Civil Service
After completing his graduation, in 2004, Rinkoo Singh Rahee appeared for the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Civil Services Examination (UP-PCS). Rinkoo cleared both, the written exam and the interview, in his first attempt. In 2008, Rinkoo Rahee was posted as a District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO) in Muzaffarnagar Welfare Department.
Just four months into his service as a District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO) in Muzaffarnagar Welfare Department, Rinkoo, while conducting an audit, found several discrepancies in the allocation and distribution of funds under several social services schemes. Rinkoo also found out that the Welfare Department had not conducted a meeting with Muzaffarnagar’s elected MPs and MLAs for a very long time. The department, on several occasions, openly violated the rules laid down by the UP government. In 2008, Rinkoo also found that the department was embezzling funds, which were allocated for the upliftment of the families living below the poverty line. In 2008, Rinkoo Rahee exposed another scam in the department’s Old Age Pension Scheme. In the audit, it was revealed that the department had registered 62,447 people as the beneficiaries of the pension scheme, whereas the department, in reality, had released an annual pension of Rs 3,600 to just 47,707 pensioners. As Rinkoo’s investigation progressed, he found out that the department, in its record book, had falsely mentioned the release of Rs 5.5 crore for the benefit of 22,000 OBC students and Rs 11 crore for the upliftment of BPL families living in Muzaffarnagar. In 2009, a few days before being attacked, Rinkoo Rahee, for the discrepancies found in the department’s logbook, complained to the District Magistrate (DM) Bhuvneesh Kumar. Rinkoo had also sent a letter to the Director of his department about the prevalent corruption.
Attack on Rinkoo Rahee
On the morning of 26 March 2009, a few armed assailants opened fire at Rinkoo Rahee while he was playing badminton at his residence. Rinkoo was shot seven times from a point-blank range. He was shot three times in face and was also shot at the back of the skull. The attack on Rinkoo left him with a permanently disfigured face, complete loss of vision in the right eye and hearing impairment. While giving an interview, Rinkoo stated,
It was a very tough job with the mafia and the touts dominating the scene and interested in schemes of the social welfare department. They were in cohorts with my office staff, including an accountant, and when I refused to toe the line, I was fired at while I was playing badminton at my residence in Muzaffarnagar. When I was being harassed, I was not fighting the system but the system was fighting me. I stayed in the hospital for four months. My leave on medical is not approved yet.”
After the attack, the UP Police lodged an FIR against the assailants. Later, the police arrested nine conspirators including a leader of the Samajwadi Party named Mukesh Chaudhary. The police also arrested the Assistant Accountant of the Muzaffarnagar Welfare Department named Ashok Kashyap. In an interview, Rinkoo Rahee stated,
It was a brutal attack on March 26, 2009 when bullets were pumped into me and I lost one of my eyes, an ear and damaged my jaw which left me physically handicapped. I had to remain in hospital for months but went on fighting and filed a case. The Muzaffarnagar court convicted those guilty, including the then accountant in the district social welfare office.”
After staying for months in the hospital, Rinkoo was discharged from the hospital in 2009. After his release, in an attempt to gather more information about the disbursement of funds by the Muzaffarnagar Welfare Department between 2006 to 2009, Rinkoo filed an RTI. The delayed and unsatisfactory response of the Central Information Commission (CIC) disappointed Rinkoo Rahee as a result of which, in 2009, Rinkoo decided to go on a hunger strike in front of the Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow. He demanded that the CIC should answer all of his queries. In an interview, he said,
I wanted to know where the unused funds went. To know the details, I had filed an application under the RTI Act demanding details. I have also asked for details about beneficiaries but did not receive full details. I had also filed an appeal against it.”
In 2010, Rinkoo Singh Rahee was posted as a District Social Welfare Officer in Bhadohi, and in 2012, he once again went on a hunger strike, demanding the UP government’s crackdown on the culprits of the 2009 Welfare Department’s scam. In 2012, the UP government, upon failing to persuade Rinkoo on ending his hunger strike, ordered the police to forcefully evict and admit him into the psychiatric ward. Talking about this incident, Rinkoo, in an interview, stated,
I was attacked in Mayawati’s regime and during Akhilesh’s regime, I was sent to the psychiatry department because I used to speak against corruption and corrupt practices. I presented facts of the scam before the senior officials of the department, but none of them cooperated. Even information sought under the Right to Information Act has not been provided.”
On 25 March 2012, Rinkoo Rahee sat on a one-day hunger strike in New Delhi with the social activist Anna Hazare. The CIC, on 26 March 2012, responded to his RTI. Out of the five queries asked by Rinkoo, the CIC could only answer two. Unhappy with the response, Rinkoo decided to start a hunger strike in Lucknow, demanding that the CIC must answer all of his five queries. In 2012, Rinkoo Rahee was posted at three places in Uttar Pradesh, Shravasti, Lalitpur, and Hapur.
Director of a coaching institute
In 2012, Rinkoo Rahee was shunted and sent to his hometown in Aligarh. This act of the Samajadwadi Party-led UP government was criticised by Arvind Kejriwal, who accused the UP Government of corruption, murder, and assault. At Aligarh, Rinkoo was posted as the Director of the Government-run Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar IAS-PCS Pre-Exam Training Centre. Under his directorship and guidance, many aspiring candidates were able to clear their UPSC exams. In an interview, Rinkoo said,
However, corruption seems to have very strong roots and sways many from the right path. Still, I continued on my way and while teaching students, had a positive energy from them which helped me achieve 683 rank in my 16th attempt (allowed to those physically challenged).”
In June 2022, Rinkoo Rahee cleared the UPSC examination in his 16th attempt; he secured 683 rank.
- Since Rinkoo Rahee was born into a poor family, his father could not afford his education in a convent school; therefore, he had to study in a government school. In an interview, Rinkoo stated,
My father was good at studies but had to drop out to take care of the family. I grew up listening to these stories of exploitation and thought that had government officials been honest, we could have benefitted from several schemes. This is what drove me all along.”
- Rinkoo, since childhood, was very good at studies. He was awarded a scholarship in 1998, after the completion of his schooling.
- In an interview, Rinkoo Rahee talked about the prevailing corruption in various departments under the Uttar Pradesh government. He said,
I was sent to an insignificant place after the attack. I would have been killed as they still threatened me with dire consequences but the government has not taken any action against them till date. Every year Rs 35 to 40 crore is swindled in connivance with the babus in the department and those who oppose are either shunted out or intimidated.”
- On several occasions, he was offered a hefty amount of bribe, which Rinkoo refused to accept. While giving an interview, Rinkoo stated,
It’s not that temptation didn’t knock on my doors. But I knew that if I ever indulged in nefarious activities, someone else and their child may suffer too.”
- To make public all the evidence about the scams that he exposes, Rinkoo uses various social media platforms, where he uploads relevant documents related to scams. In an interview, he talked about this and said,
I have also learnt how to handle these issues in a much better manner. At the time of the attack, all the proof of the scam was with me. So my death would have quickly removed all of the evidence. But now I make all of my observations in a very transparent way and post them on the social media.”
- As a Director of an IAS-PCS coaching institute in Aligarh, Rinkoo Rahee used to provide tuition to aspiring UPSC candidates for twenty hours a day.
- Rinkoo, since 2012, has been working with We The People, an organisation that has been working for the enforcement and protection of the constitutional rights of the citizens of India.