The collector of Surajpur district, Chhattisgarh, on Saturday apologised after a video of him hitting a man for a COVID-19 norm violation went viral on social media.
In the video, the man can be seen showing a piece of paper and something on his mobile phone to the collector who takes the device and throws it to the ground. Later, the collector, after slapping the man, orders the police officers to hit the man again.
Through a video, Surajpur District Collector Ranbir Sharma said the reason for his outburst was that the man in the viral video lied to the officials and misbehaved with them.
After the video started doing rounds on social media, the collector faced criticism for physically assaulting a citizen. Netizens took to Twitter and slammed the collector for his actions.
Here's what netizens had to say:
In a statement issued on Saturday, Collector Ranbir Sharma said, "Today a video is viral on social media in which I am shown slapping a man who was out during lockdown. I sincerely apologize for today's behavior. I never had any intention to disrespect or belittle the person in the video."
Sharma said the man, contrary to some reports, was not a minor but a 23-year-old "He was riding a bike and was over speeding. The man also misbehaved with officials", the collector said.
The Indian Administrative Service officers association has strongly condemned the actions of District Collector of Chhatisgarh's Surajpur after social media videos emerged of him slapping a man who was reportedly out to buy medicines on Saturday amid a statewide lockdown.