The sub-divisional magistrate of Meerganj tehsil in Uttar Pradesh was removed from his post after a video went viral on Friday in which a man was seen squatting in his office. After the viral video, Bareilly divisional commissioner Saumya Agarwal said an inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
The incident occurred when the man showed up at the SDM’s office to lodge a complaint regarding the alleged encroachment on a cremation ground.
District magistrate Shivakant Dwivedi said preliminary findings indicate negligence on the part of SDM Udit Pawar, who has since been transferred to the district headquarters. Desh Deepak Singh has been appointed as the new SDM of Bareilly.
However, Pawar denied allegations that the complainant had squatted on his own. He claimed that the complainant’s friends took photos and videos and then posted them online.
“I did not ask any complainant to squat. The young person who came to my office squatted down on his own when he entered my room. His friends took photos and made videos, then returned those videos viral.” » said Pawar.
“I assured them that the matter would be looked into by the tehsildar and action would be taken if any encroachment on the cremation ground was found,” he added.
However, the complainant alleged that he and other villagers approached the SDM regarding the issue of encroachment in Mandanpur village. Pawar became agitated, insulted them, and then asked her to squat as punishment.
Villagers of Mandanpur village said some Muslims had encroached on the cremation ground. As a result, they have no option but to perform the last rites on the banks of the Ramganga River. However, due to the current high water levels in the river, it is also impossible to perform the last rites there.
On Friday, the villagers, including Ramkumar, Puranlal, Dharampal, Gedan Lal and Lodhi, submitted a memorandum to SDM Pawar in this regard, to which they were told that action would be taken based on a tehsildar report.
Lodhi said that when they complained about the delay in taking action on the matter, the trustee got angry, asked the villagers to leave the room and told him to squat down.
Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav condemned the incident, criticizing what he called “autocratic bureaucracy” under the dominant Uttar Pradesh regime. He called for swift action from the government or the court to remedy the situation.
With contributions from PTI