RAIPUR, MAY 23: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday removed the Collector of Surajpur district after a video of the IAS officer slapping a man for violating lockdown norms went viral on social media.
Ranbir Sharma was transferred to the Secretariat and replaced by Raipur Jila Panchayat CEO Gaurav Kumar Singh, an order issued on Sunday informed.
The IAS Association also condemned the behaviour and wrote on Twitter: “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.”
Sharma had, however, apologised for his action.
In the almost 3-minute-long video, he was seen slapping a man while enforcing lockdown norms in the district. He was also seen instructing the police officers accompanying him to beat the man.
“He was a 23-year-old man over-speeding on a sports bike. He had a fake slip which he claimed was for vaccination. We have to be a little strict with people to ensure that lockdown norms are followed. However, I apologize for my behaviour today,” Sharma said, while refuting claims that the person seen in the video is a minor.
The Collector and his parents had recently contracted the COVID-19 virus, he added.
Surajpur, which is about 357 km from the state capital, has recorded 25,647 COVID-19 cases till May 22. The district has also seen 187 deaths since March 2020. (Courtesy: IE)