In view of COVID-19 pandemic and spiking cases, many states have enforced lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. In Chhattisgarh, however, authorities seem to have taken things a tad far with the enforcement. A viral video shows a man in his early 20s get thrashed by cops upon the instruction of the district collector, who had slapped and smashed the young man's phone in Chattishgarh's Surajpur.
The viral video shows the man is picking out some identity papers to show to the district collector Ranbir Sharma, IAS. When Sharma asks the man to show him his phone, the district collector takes a glance and smashes it on the ground. To the man's surprise, Sharma slaps him and then calls the police officers to charge him with a lathi.
According to reports, the man, identified as Sahil Gupta, was headed to a medical store and told the district collector the same before he was thrashed. The entire incident was caught on camera and the video has gone viral on social media.
With more than a million views, the shocking aggressive behaviour has drawn strong backlash. The IAS officer has been criticised for his behaviour and netizens have even demanded action be taken against him.
वाकई हद है ये...— Anshuman Sharma (@anshuman_sunona) May 22, 2021
यकीन नहीं तो ये वीडियो भी देख लीजिये..@SurajpurDist कलेक्टर साहब आपको किस बात की इतनी खीज..
लड़का कह रहा, भगवान कसम फ़ोन पे कोई रिकॉर्ड नहीं किया..पर वाह रे दंभ..@bhupeshbaghel @tamradhwajsahu0 @_SubratSahoo @DPRChhattisgarh #lockdown #Chhattisgarh #cgnews https://t.co/GhFmnf1qa4 pic.twitter.com/ZLAdkVlhLo
District collector apologises
Following the backlash, Sharma, the IAS officer in the video, issued a statement and apologised for his behaviour.
"Today a video is viral on social media in which I am shown slapping a man who was out during lockdown. I sincerely apologise for today's behaviour. I never had any intention to disrespect or belittle the person in the video," Sharma said.
"In this pandemic situation, district Surajpur along with entire Chhattisgarh is facing irreparable loss of life. We government employees of the state government are striving hard to tackle this problem. My parents and I were also affected by coronavirus. I am now post-Covid but mother is still positive and undergoing treatment at home," the district collector said.
The collector also said the man was overspeeding and misbehaved with the officials. He has been charged under the Epidemic Diseases Act for violating Covid-19 norms. Sharma also clarified, contrary to social media posts, the man in the video was not a minor and aged 23 years old.