BHOPAL: A bureaucrat and two police officers who were suspended following five deaths and violence during farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, in June last year, were reinstated by the state government on Saturday.
While 2007 batch IAS officer Swatantra Kumar Singh (district collector of Mandsaur then) has been reinstated as the additional commissioner of Urban Administration Department in Bhopal, the two IPS officers - 2009 batch officer OP Tripathi (district police superintendent then) and 2014 batch officer Sai Krishna S Thota (chief superintendent of police) - have been reinstated as additional inspector general at the State Police Headquarters in Bhopal, key sources in the state government confided.
Following the death of six farmers in police firing and lathi charge on protesting crowd in Pipliyamandi town of Mandsaur which triggered farmers' unrest across the state, the three officers were first shifted from the violence-racked district. While Singh was posted as deputy secretary at Mantralaya in Bhopal, Tripathi was shifted took charge as the AIG state PHQ. Thota, meanwhile, took charge as the assistant commandant of the 8th Special Armed Force (SAF) Battalion of state police.
After the opposition parties stepped up pressure on the government demanding action against the authorities, a probe panel was constituted to inquire into the incident. The three officers were suspended nine days after the single member judicial probe panel was formed.
The panel report, which was delayed by nine months, was submitted to the state government earlier this month. The report had concluded that police firing had become necessary for the purposes of self-preservation and mob dispersal during the violent agitation.
Expressing resentment on the state government's decision to reinstate the three suspended officers, MP Congress Committee president Kamal Nath said on Saturday that the latest development has once again exposed the anti-farmer face of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.
“The haste with which the three suspended officials have been reinstated has ended all hopes of justice to kin of deceased farmers, whom Chief Minisiter Shivraj Singh Chouhan had assured last year to render justice,” said Nath.