Indore top cop, SDM who knelt down to talk to Congress MLAs shunted out

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The Madhya Pradesh government late Saturday night transferred a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) and a city superintendent of police (CSP) from Indore hours to Bhopal after they knelt down to talk to Congress MLAs including a former minister to talk to and persuade them to withdraw their agitation.

A photo of the SDM Rakesh Sharma and CSP DK Tiwari talking to Congress MLA and ex-minister Jitu Patwari while the latter along with another Congress MLA Sanjay Shukla and two other Congress leaders was staging a sit-in at Rajwada went viral on social media prompting the ruling party leaders in Indore to question the conduct of the officers and demanding action against them.

The Congress MLAs were demanding lodging of an FIR against ex-MLA from BJP Sudarshan Gupta for his organising a programme without the district administration’s permission to celebrate Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar’s birthday on Friday.

A huge crowd turned up to receive food grains from Gupta at the programme as the latter had announced leading to a chaotic situation and social distancing norms thrown to the wind. There was even loot of food grains packets by a number of people.

District collector, Indore Manish Singh served a notice to Sharma as to ‘why a disciplinary action be not taken against him for compromising with dignity of a magistrate’. However, within hours of the notice Sharma was transferred from Indore to the state secretariat ‘with immediate effect on administrative ground’. The CSP DK Tiwari too was transferred from Indore to police headquarters at Bhopal ‘with immediate effect’, as per the show cause notice and the transfer orders.

State Congress leader KK Mishra said, “The BJP government exposed its parochial view by transferring the officers. This is a politically motivated decision causing injustice to officers who were discharging their duties by persuading public representatives to withdraw their agitation.”

State Congress president’s media coordinator Narendra Saluja said, “Congress was in power for 15 months since December 2018 but it never showed any political bias. Those who were staging the sit-in are public representatives. Did the officers commit any mistake by showing respect to public representatives?”

Chief secretary Iqbal Singh Bains and director general of police (DGP) Vivek Johri could not be reached for their comments. They did not take phone calls and did not respond to text messages.

State BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal brushed aside the Congress’ objections. “The government is empowered to take decisions on transfers of officers on administrative grounds. It will be better if the Congress focuses on real issues concerning people,” he said.

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