Action is likely to be taken against an IAS officer who was caught on camera, hitting a video journalist and smashing his mobile phone.
Divyanshu Patel, posted as Chief Development Officer (CDO) in Unnao, is accused of attacking the television reporter, Krishna Tiwari, because he was being filmed by the latter. Tiwari alleged that the officer was helping ‘kidnap local council members to stop them from voting’, he (Tiwari) filmed the incident.
The video of the assault was shared widely on social media and triggered widespread condemnation.
Unnao District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar told reporters, “We have had a word with all the journalists. We have got a written complaint from the journalist who was attacked. I can assure you that fair action will be taken in the case.”
Senior officials in Lucknow said that the district magistrate had been asked to submit his report on the incident to the government on Sunday, after which action would be taken.
“In any case, the video clip of the incident says it all. An officer has no business to hit a journalist. But we will wait for the report and also the officer’s version,” an official said.
The officer Divyanshu Patel, meanwhile, is yet to comment on the incident.
The incident took place on Saturday when clashes and violence in at least 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh marked the polling to elect block panchayat chiefs.
Meanwhile, in Etawah, Superintendent of Police (City) Prashant Kumar has been caught on camera saying on phone, “These people are throwing bricks and stones sir. They even slapped me. They brought bombs as well. People from BJP — MLA and district chief.”
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Etawah Brajesh Kumar Singh told reporters, “When the mob was asked to stop from coming near the polling booth, it started stone-pelting and firing. We have all the CCTV footage. We will investigate once the election is over. A case will be filed soon.”