Ranbir Sharma, district collector of Surajpur in Chhattisgarh, was filmed assaulting a man who was out on the street, allegedly violating lockdown norms. The man was beaten up by the police on Sharma’s instructions. Sharma also threw the man’s phone on the ground, destroying it. A video of the incident was widely circulated on social media.
The man was identified as 23-year-old Aman Mittal, The Times of India reported, and was returning after visiting his grandmother who had been admitted for treatment of Covid-19. “He was riding a sports bike and was out on streets despite the lockdown imposed on Saturday and Sunday,” Sharma was quoted as saying. “Later, the boy made two different statements when asked for the reason he was out. He said he had gone for vaccination and then he said his grandmother was admitted at the hospital.”
The collector later apologised for his actions in a statement on Saturday, The Hindustan Times reported. “I sincerely apologise for today’s behaviour. I never had any intention to disrespect or belittle the person in the video,” the statement said.
Sharma’s actions were also condemned by the Indian Administrative Service Association.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel also expressed his regret to the man and his family, and said that instructions for Sharma’s “immediate removal” have been given. In a statement on Twitter, Baghel said that such incidents will not be tolerated in the state.