The BJP government in Haryana came under Opposition fire on Saturday for its decision to move a woman IPS officer who was involved in a verbal spat with controversial Health Minister Anil Vij the day before — the incident was captured on TV cameras and the video went viral on social media.
Sangeeta Rani Kalia, SP of Fatehabad district, has now been posted as Commandant 4th IRB at Manesar after she refused to leave a public grievance meeting on being asked to “get out” by the minister who was irked with her response to a query on illicit liquor trade in the area. Vij subsequently stormed out of the District Grievances and Public Relations Committee in Fatehabad.
While the Opposition slammed Vij over the transfer, the chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes, P L Punia, demanded that he be sacked.
The 35-year-old Kalia’s father Dharam Pal retired as a painter from the Fatehabad police in 2010, the same year she joined state police as an IPS officer after passing the civil services in her third attempt.
Kalia refused to comment on the transfer.
“I am ready to pay any price and make sacrifice for getting justice for people who face harassment at the hands of administration,” said Vij.
Congress leader Manish Tewari said the minister acted in a “crude manner”. “You don’t behave with a lady in this manner irrespective of whether she is an officer or not. If this had happened in some other party, the minister would have been asked to step down,” he said.
While Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar said that “appropriate action” was taken, former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda said Vij’s behaviour would “demoralise bureaucrats”.
“This is not the way Khattar’s ministers should treat their bureaucrats. One does not tell a lady officer to get out like this,” said Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar.
Vij has been a controversial figure in the Khattar Cabinet, even accusing his own government recently of spying on him after coming across a constable standing outside his office.
The five-time Ambala Cantt MLA, who is also in charge of Health and Sports Affairs, had earlier expressed his displeasure at various decisions being allegedly taken by the government without his knowledge.
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