The Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Uttar Pradesh government suspended a sub-divisional magistrate for sending a bulldozer to demolish the house of a furniture store owner, The Indian Express reported on Thursday.
Ghanshyam Verma, the Bilari sub-divisional magistrate in the Moradabad district, allegedly sent the bulldozer after he was asked to pay for furniture worth Rs 2.67 lakh by store owner Zahid Ahmed, News18 Hindi reported.
In July, Ahmed lodged a complaint with the district administration claiming that a wall of his house was demolished.
Verma said that Ahmed was given a notice of encroachment, according to The Indian Express. The entreprenuer is making false allegations, he added.
The district administration removed Verma from his post and attached him to the collector’s office last month. The administration later found him guilty in an initial inquiry, after which he was suspended.
“The administration submitted an inquiry report that indicted the officer,” Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi said. “No one guilty of misdeed would be spared. The move is in accordance with the state government’s zero tolerance policy against corruption.”
Authorities in states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party have on several occasions resorted to using bulldozers to demolish the houses of persons accused of crimes. However, there are no legal provisions that allow for the demolition of a house as a punitive measure.