Indore: The cleanest city of India, Indore was in the eye of storm on Friday following a series of viral videos showing some employees of Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) driving some homeless elderly people out of the city and dropping them near a village in the biting cold.
Deputy municipal commissioner Pratap Solanki was suspended and two more contractual employees were sacked after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed annoyance over the entire episode and ordered for action against responsible officials.
Three videos went viral over social media on Friday, two of which featuring an IMC anti-encroachment squad abandoning elderly destitute at Kishpra, which is outside the municipal limits.
The videos showed the IMC employees dropping homeless elderly destitutes, many of them weak and old with just rags and torn bags as possession, on the highway and throwing their belongings from a truck on the same road.
The third video showed local residents opposing the move of IMC employees even as one person was heard narrating how the aged homeless persons were abandoned on the highway and their belongings were being thrown on the road. One employee was seen trying to explain their position.
The same video later showed the IMC employees lugging the elderly destitute back on the truck even as local residents threatening to share the clips of the incident on CM Helpline.
The IMC employees then cleared off from the scene.
A shopkeeper of Kishpra, Rajesh Joshi told reporters that the IMC vehicle had abandoned the elderly destitute and left but they stopped it. “When we asked IMC employees why they abandoned elderly homeless in Kishpra, pat came reply that the orders for the same were from the government. The employees said that the destitutes make Indore city dirty so they have been driven out of the city,” Joshi said adding that they forced the employees to take the aged people back.
First bid to trivialize matter, then action
As the videos went viral, IMC initially tried to trivialize the matter saying that IMC team was picking up destitute from a place in municipal limits to transport them to Rainbasera (night shelter).
Solanki, who was supervising the work of transporting destitute to Rainbasera, gave a clean chit to the IMC team saying they did nothing wrong. “They were just picking up destitute from roadside to take them to night shelter,” he said.
Additional municipal commissioner Abhay Rajangaonkar told reporters that he had seen the videos but did not find any inhumane act from the IMC employees. They mishandled the destitute while putting them in vehicle. Two employees have been sacked for it. An inquiry has been ordered to find out why they were taken out of the city,” he said.
In the evening, urban development and housing minister Bhupendra Singh stated that Chief Minister expressed annoyance over the incident after which one officer was suspended and two employees were terminated.
Collector Manish Singh termed the act inhumane and unfortunate. He stated that the government suspended Solanki and two contractual employees were sacked.