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Woman police chief transferred after spat with Haryana health minister Anil Vij

Woman police chief transferred after spat with Haryana health minister Anil Vij
Highlights

IPS officer Sangeet Kalia, SP of Fatehabad district, was on Saturday shunted out, a day after a spat with Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij during a meeting, triggering angry reactions against him from the opposition and on the social media.

IPS officer Sangeet Kalia, SP of Fatehabad district, was on Saturday shunted out, a day after a spat with Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij during a meeting, triggering angry reactions against him from the opposition and on the social media.


The minister had on Thursday stormed out of a meeting of the District Grievances and Public Relations Committee after the police officer refused to follow his order to leave the venue following heated exchanges between them.
The video of their spat went viral on social media. Official sources said government has decided to transfer Kalia from her current post as Fatehabad SP, adding formal orders will be issued soon.


Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar earlier today told reporters in Karnal that he had taken cognizance of the matter and it will be dealt with appropriately.

The spat issue drew sharp reactions from various quarters, with opposition slamming Vij over his comments with a lady officer, while Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes, P L Punia, demanded that the Minister should be sacked.

Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that the Minister should have maintained decorum while speaking to a lady officer and deprecated his behaviour with her.

Notably, Vij, who is known for his outspoken nature even taking on his own government, said that he had been getting complaints of drug mafia and liquor mafia being active.

"Yesterday, one NGO complained to police, but she (Kalia) shouted back at the NGO telling it why you are complaining to the Minister, that itself shows that she is not cooperating," he said.

Following it with a tweet, Vij said that he is ready to pay any price and even ready to make sacrifice to ensure justice to people who are oppressed due to indifferent attitude of administration.

"I have spoken to the CM. I want to make one thing very clear that I will continue to fight against those officials who do not work," he said.

The incident drew sharp reactions on social media, with several coming out in support of Kalia, saying the Minister should have exercised restraint.

In another tweet, the minister said, "I am ready to pay any price and make any sacrifice for getting justice for people who face harassment at the hands of administration".

Vij was slammed for his tweet by the people on social media.

One tweet said, "Fatehabad SP is an honest officer, who is stopping illegal work that comes to her notice. You (Vij) are being misguided by wrong people. I was not expecting this from a leader like you".

"Her only fault lies that she cares two hoots for power brokers. She has been working honestly and during her time crime graph has come down," he said.

Another tweet reminded the Minister that he was occupying a "constitutional post".

"You should not speak through your tongue (asking SP to get out..)," he tweeted.

The confrontation between Vij and Kalia took place during a meeting of the District Grievances and Public Relations Committee in Fatehabad yesterday, where the minister questioned Kalia regarding a complaint pertaining to an unauthorised sale of liquor in villages.

Deputy Commissioner N K Solanki was also present in the meeting. Vij asked the SP what the police was doing regarding multiple sale points of liquor opened in villages.

The officer explained the responsibilities of the police in this regard and mentioned that 2,500 cases had been registered in connection with the Excise Act in the past 10 months, which was a record.

The minister was, however, not satisfied with SP's response. As the exchange between the duo continued, the minister by now enraged asked the SP to "get out" of the meeting. The lady officer, however, refused to leave the meeting as she felt she was not in the wrong, and even objected to the minister's manner.

The minister then left the meeting in a huff. All BJP workers and committee members followed suit. The officer declined to comment on the incident, saying everything happened before media and that she would not like to add anything further.

Congress leader Manish Tewari said the minister acted in a crude manner. For the simple reason, you don't behave with a lady in this manner irrespective of whether she is an officer or not. There is certain decorum, which you must observe. If this had happened in some other party senior party Digvijay Singh said, "It displays arrogance and ego of the BJP. This will continue till such things are not eliminated.”

"This is punishment without any inquiry. The Haryana government has initiated action against the SP without going into details and without conducting any inquiry,” another leader Shakeel Ahmed said.

National Scheduled Caste Commission member Ishwar Singh also slammed Vij, demanding action against him over his behaviour with the lady officer. Haryana Congress President Ashok Tanwar said, "This is not the way Khattar's Ministers should treat their bureaucrats.

This is definitely an example of a intolerant behaviour by the Haryana Minister. One does not tell a lady officer to get out like this," he said. Hooda said such behaviour will "demoralise the bureaucrats". Recently, Vij had accused his own government's police of spying on him after which Haryana Police DGP had ordered a high-level inquiry.

Vij had caught a CID constable standing outside his office at the civil secretariat building here after which he had summoned the DGP to his office and lodged a complaint.

The five-time Ambala Cantt MLA had also expressed his displeasure at actress Parineeti Chopra being made the brand ambassador by the State Government for Centre's flagship 'Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao' campaign without him being kept in the loop.

In the past, Vij, who besides Health also looks after Sports and Youth Affairs, has also been upset over decisions taken in his departments without his knowledge. Meanwhile, Vij has written to State's Director General of Police today asking him to provide security to complainants against the liquor mafia of Fatehabad.

The Minister told reporters in Amabala that when he reminded the SP that any citizen could express his grievances in this meeting she started arguing with him. Vij said that he told the SP that such action of the officer would encourage the liquor mafia.
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