scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Friday, January 21, 2022

Bastara toll plaza row Central govt confirms service of IAS officer

After the officer's objectionable comments went viral on social media, farmers had gheraoed the mini-secretariat of Karnal and sat on an indefinite dharna demanding suspension of the officer and registration of a criminal case against him.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh |
December 24, 2021 7:24:15 am
Police lathi-charge protesters to break-up the stir at Bastara toll plaza, Karnal. (Express Photo/file)

The Union government has confirmed the services of the 2018-batch IAS officer Ayush Sinha, who is being probed for his conduct in the August 28 incident that took place at Bastara toll plaza in Karnal. The tenure of Commission of Inquiry in the case ends on Friday (December 24).

The officer, who was posted as Sub-Divisional Magistrate at that time in Karnal, was caught on camera on August 28 instructing policemen to beat up protesting farmers and not to let anyone breach the security cordon without a “broken head”.

Meanwhile, a notification issued by the Union Ministry of Personnel, PG and Pensions (Department of Personnel and Training), on December 14, read: “In exercise of the powers conferred by rule 3-A of the Indian Administrative Service (Probation) Rules, 1954, the President is pleased to confirm the following members of the Indian Administrative Service of 2018 batch in the Indian Administrative Service with effect from date(s) shown against their names.”

Ayush Sinha is among the 39 officers of 2018 batch whose services have been confirmed by the Union government with effect from August 27, 2020, and figures on serial number 24 in the list.

After the officer’s objectionable comments went viral on social media, farmers had gheraoed the mini-secretariat of Karnal and sat on an indefinite dharna demanding suspension of the officer and registration of a criminal case against him.

The dharna by farmers outside the Karnal mini-secretariat had set off alarm bells in the government since Karnal is also the home constituency of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

At the time of the incident, Sinha was posted at the final cordon between Bastara toll plaza and a hotel in Karnal city where Haryana BJP leaders including BJP state chief Om Prakash Dhankar, CM Manohar Lal Khattar, all BJP MPs, MLAs and various other senior BJP leaders from across the state were holding an internal party meeting.

The security cordons were set up by the district administration and police to prevent protesting farmers from reaching the hotel and disrupting BJP’s party meeting.

Khattar and state BJP leaders were holding the meeting to devise the party’s strategy for the upcoming panchayat polls when police cracked down on farmers staging a protest at Bastara toll plaza. Although Sinha was posted at the security cordon that was approximately 12-15 km away from Bastara toll plaza and had no role in the police lathicharge on farmers at the toll plaza, but his comments led to a furore and farmers kept sitting outside the mini-secretariat for five days. The standoff had ended following extensive talks between farmer unions led by Gurnam Singh Chadhuni and the government side led by Additional Chief Secretary Devender Singh.

The probe
The state government was forced to constitute a Commission of Inquiry and send the officer home “on leave”, till the pendency of outcome of the commission’s report.

In October, Haryana’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajeev Arora had granted a two-month extension to Justice SN Aggarwal (retd.) as Commission of Inquiry, Bastara Toll Plaza, Karnal till December 24.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Chandigarh News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement