Surajpur Collector slaps man for alleged lockdown violation, officer transferred

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Surajpur Collector slaps man

Raipur, May 23

Stroking controversy during this time of pandemic, an IAS officer Ranbir Sharma allegedly misbehaved with people and also slapped youth during compliance of the lockdown guideline in Surajpur district of Chhattisgarh.

Officer Ranbir Singh, who was posted as Surajpur Collector, allegedly slapped a man and also damaged his mobile handset. The incident came to light when series of video clippings went viral of social media platform.

It may be recalled that While posted as Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Bhahupratappur in Kanker district, IAS Ranbir Sharma was allegedly caught red-handed by the sleuths of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) while accepting a bribe of Rs 10000 from a patwari in August 2015. In the wake of the incident, the officer was shifted as Under Secretary Mantralaya. Following the complaint of Patwari Sudhir Lakra, ACB had laid a trap and caught IAS officer Ranbir Sharma along with a bribe amount.

Taking cognizance into the matter, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel condemned the incident and directed immediate removal of the officer after which he was transferred to Mantralaya Raipur as joint secretary. Complying with the directives of CM Baghel, Surajpur Collector Ranbir Sharma was shifted to Mantralaya as joint secretary and he was replaced by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Raipur District Panchayat Gaurav Kumar Singh.

Condemning the behaviour of Surajpur Collector and terming the incident as unacceptable, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in a twitter post stated that “Through social media, the case of misbehavior towards a young man by Surajpur Collector Ranbir Sharma has come to my notice. It is very sad and condemnable. In Chhattisgarh, no such act will be tolerated at all. Instructions have been given to remove Collector Ranbir Sharma with immediate effect. Such conduct is not acceptable in the life of any officer in duty. I am upset with this incident. I apologize to the young man and his family,”  

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has directed the officials concerned to make a new mobile phone available to the youth as a compensation for damage of handset during the misbehaviour by Surajpur Collector, said officials.

“The IAS Association strongly condemns the behaviour of Collector Surajpur, Chhattisgarh. It is unacceptable & against the basic tenets of the service & civility. Civil servants must have empathy & provide a healing touch to society at all times, more so in these difficult times,” twitted IAS Association.

The officer issued an apology after a video of him slapping a man and throwing his phone on went viral on social media. In the video statement, Ranbir Sharma said the reason for his outburst was that the man in the viral video lied to the officials and misbehaved with them.

“Today a video is viral on social media in which I am shown slapping a man, who was venturing out during lockdown. He said he was out for vaccination but there was no proper documentation to justify his claim. Later, he said he was going to visit his grandmother. I slapped him in the heat of the moment when he misbehaved,” said the officer.

He said he ‘sincerely apologises’ for his behavior, and it was never his intention to disrespect the person.

“The COVID-19 situation in Surajpur is bad. I along with my parents tested positive recently. We all employees of the state government are striving hard to tackle this problem,” he said.

The collector further said that contrary to the claim on social media of the man in the video being a minor, he is 23-year-old and was speeding and not stopping his two-wheeler despite being told to do so. Later he misbehaved with officials.

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