Raipur | Jagran News Desk: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday announced the removal of Surajpur District Collector Ranbir Sharma with immediate effect for slapping a youth and smashing his phone on the ground for allegedly violating lockdown restrictions.

"Through social media, the case of misbehaviour of 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," Baghel tweeted.

The video of the act, which rocked social media this weekend, showed the then Surajpur District Collector slapping a youth and smashing his phone to the ground. Sharma then directed Police personnel to charge towards the youth to ensure lathi-charge. ‘Maaro isko maaro’ (Beat him up), Sharma can be heard as saying in the video. Later, Police filed an FIR against the youth for over-speeding his bike under Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code. Chhattisgarh was under the state of complete lockdown on Saturday when the incident took place.

The District Collector, however, claimed in a statement that the youth was using a fake vaccination slip to move around the area and said that the law enforcement has to be a ‘little strict’ with people to ensure that the lockdown norms are followed. The now-removed District Collector while expressing an apology for his actions, stated on Saturday night: “However, I apologize for my behaviour.”

Ranbir Sharma, a 2012-batch IAS officer, was earlier accused by a Patwari in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker in 2015 of continuously demanding bribe. Sharma, an SDM then, was reportedly caught by the state’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) while taking a bribe of Rs 10,000. Following this, Sharma was transferred as undersecretary in the state secretariat.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma