New Delhi/Lucknow: There could be trouble in store for the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of Pilibhit district, who received brickbats for flouting the janata curfew observed across the country Sunday, and leading a crowd showing support to health workers and those delivering essential services amid lockdowns during the outbreak of COVID-19.
According to sources, upset with the video of DM Vaibhav Srivastava and SP Abhishek Dikshit ringing bells and clanging steel plates as they lad a crowd of tens of people, the PMO has asked the Yogi Adityanath government to take action against the two officers.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is also learnt to be extremely angry with the conduct of the two officers.
Sources in the Chief Minister’s Office said the Uttar Pradesh government is planning to take action against them, however, it would wait till the situation normalises.
“Pilibhit is one of the districts under lockdown…If they were to be transferred now, it would not be possible to bring in their replacements immediately,” said one source. “The government will wait before action is taken, but the CM is not happy.”
Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi took to Twitter Monday to condemn their actions. “While many people, including myself, are in self-quarantine & India battles COVID-19 on a war footing, the conduct of the SP & DM of Pilibhit is callous & irresponsible. Times like these need mature conduct, like the PM advised. I urge action against those who violated the #JantaCurfew,” he tweeted.
While many people,including myself,are in self-quarantine & India battles COVID-19 on a war footing,the conduct of the SP & DM of Pilibhit is callous & irresponsible.Times like these need mature conduct,like the PM advised.I urge action against those who violated the #JantaCurfew pic.twitter.com/7pZuPFBmup
— Varun Gandhi (@varungandhi80) March 23, 2020
In the video clip that went viral Sunday during the janata curfew, SP Dikshit can be seen blowing a conch shell, as DM Srivastava clangs a steel plate. The two are leading a crowd of people, including children, who are clapping along with the two officers, as people around clap, march forward.
After the video led to widespread criticism, the Pilibhit Police tweeted, “District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police were not trying to defy curfew. Some people were stepping out of their homes (in the streets) so they had to be told to go back. It was not reasonable to use force. One sided reports were doing rounds.”