Kicking up a controversy, Lucknow district magistrate Amit Ghosh on Friday repeatedly slapped a government employee during an inspection after he apparently did not respond to his queries on an indefinite strike call.
The slaps by a visibly agitated Ghosh in full view of the victim's colleagues triggered demands from the Opposition Congress for suspending the officer and filing a case against him.
The incident occured at the Agriculture Directorate where Ghosh had gone along with some civil and police officers to check the presence of the employees following a strike call given by some trade unions.
The government staff has decided to go on an indefinite strike from today to protest against lathicharge on employees during a demonstration in Lucknow on Friday.
The employees union leaders have demanded stern action against Ghosh who has also been criticised along with DIG Lucknow Prem Prakash for use of force.
"We condemn the incident and both the officers should be placed under suspension by the government. The employees will not buckle under pressure tactics of the administration," spokesman of the union Ramakant Mishra said.
"It is shocking for democratic norms that the DM, AK Ghosh has no hesitation in slapping employees and like in any other case when action is taken against anyone taking law into their hand, a case should be filed against him and DIG and they be suspended immediately", UPCC president Rita Bahuguna Joshi told reporters.
The UPCC also demanded a judicial inquiry into the "barbaric lathi charge" on the agitating state government employees.