Express News Service
RAIPUR: Chhattispur collector of Surajpur district, Ranbir Sharma, had to tender an apology to a man he slapped for alleged violation of coronavirus restrictions after the video of the incident went viral on social media.
Sharma, in the video, was seen assaulting the man by throwing his phone on the ground and allegedly giving orders to the police to beat the youth.
“I sincerely apologise for Saturday’s behaviour. Never had any intention to disrespect or belittle the person,” Sharma said but defended his actions as that of a government employee taking tough measures to contain the spread of the virus amid the second wave of coronavirus in the country.
What does this brazen act of #IASofficer exemplify? #Chhattisgarh Collector in #Surajpur orders police to punish a boy wearing mask, threw away his mobile phone during lockdown. Citizens asking why can’t the DM be humane amid #COVID19 crisis @NewIndianXpress @TheMornStandard pic.twitter.com/Ed9TcuyBDa
— Ejaz Kaiser (@KaiserEjaz) May 22, 2021
The collector claimed that his action was in reaction to the alleged violation (by the youth) of the total lockdown imposed on weekend days in the Surajpur district.
The man however said that he was following Covid appropriate behaviour.
“Despite repeated plea to the collector about my condition, he didn’t pay heed to it. I informed him that I was had gone to feed my grandmother, who is admitted in the hospital and was on my way back with her medical report, but to no avail,” he said.
Asked whether he filed any complaint about the incident, the distressed youth said: “The people usually approach the collector with their grievances against the lower rung officials but where does the hope of redress lay when it involves the district magistrate himself.”
The government, nor the opposition have reacted to the incident so far and no action has been taken against the collector.
Interestingly, this comes over a month after Tripura collector was reprimanded for his harsh actions to stop a wedding ceremony being held amid covid-19 norm violations.