Surajpur Collector shunted out for assaulting youth

The Chhattisgarh government on Sunday transferred Surajpur Collector Ranbir Sharma as a Joint Secretary (waiting) at Mantralaya after a video went viral showing him slapping a youth. Raipur Zila Panchayat CEO Gaurav Kumar Singh will be the new Surajpur Collector.

The Collector, a 2012 batch IAS officer, is seen in the video slapping the youth and smashing the latter’s phone for allegedly flouting Covid-19 guidelines during the pandemic-induced lockdown.

Sharma is seen throwing the phone on the road and asking some policemen to cane him.

Taking cognizance of the incident, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel ordered the immediate removal of the officer.

“Misbehaviour by any government official is unacceptable. I am upset about this incident. I apologize to the youth and his family. Such action will not be tolerated in Chhattisgarh,” Baghel tweeted in Hindi.

In another tweet, Baghel ordered officials to provide the youth a new mobile.

Meanwhile, Sharma released a video on social media to apologize.

“I sincerely apologize for Saturday’s behaviour. I never had any intention to disrespect or humiliate the person,” he said and said he acted to enforce Covid guidelines.

Senior officials condemned the act. “Caning was unnecessary and avoidable,” Chhattisgarh Special Director General R.K. Vij tweeted.

The IAS Association too strongly condemned the Collector.

“It is unacceptable and against the basic tenets of the service and civility. Civil Servants must have empathy and provide a healing touch to society at all times, more so in these difficult times”, it said.