State government employee Ram Prakash was slapped thrice in public by a district magistrate on Friday. And on Saturday, he was suspended, arrested, produced in court and later released.
The reason: Prakash, an employee of the state agriculture directorate, hesitated to show some papers to Lucknow DM Amit Kumar Ghosh, who was trying to persuade striking employees to resume work.
Although police sources claimed that the action had nothing to do with the incident, a source in the directorate said on condition of anonymity: “The head of the directorate suspended him for causing damage to government property, breach of peace and also for being part of an illegal strike.”
On Friday, Prakash, an office-bearer of one of the striking unions, claimed to have come to the directorate from Kanpur with some posts, but failed to react promptly when the DM ordered, “Daak dikhao (Show me the posts).” To Prakash’s reply, “Hai (I have them),” Ghosh said, “To dikhao na,” (So, why don’t you show them?).” And before Prakash could respond, slapped him thrice.
However in the police lock-up, Prakash denied having been slapped. “I was on the second floor of the building. The DM only asked me what I was doing there. That’s it.”