New Delhi, June 11 -- The Union government on Monday forced 12 senior tax officials to retire from their jobs over allegations of misconduct such as fraud, extortion and sexual harassment, launching an unprecedented clean-up in the bureaucracy that, according to officials familiar with the matter, is likely to be extended to other departments.

The 12, all from the Indian Revenue Services (IRS), included seven commissioners - one of the topmost ranks in the Income Tax department; one joint commissioner, three additional commissioners, and an assistant commissioner.

"This is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assertion, 'na khaunga na khane dunga' [will neither steal, nor allow anyone else to] and a strong message has been sent in ...