District Magistrate faces triple murder charge

The IAS officer of Manipur cadre, who joined Bihar in 2010, faces triple murder charge in his parent cadre state. Pal has been accused of killing a sub-divisional officer (SDO) and his two sub-ordinate staff, when he was posted as deputy commissioner of Ukhrul in Manipur.According to sources in Imphal, Pal has been charged with  murdering SDO Thingnam Kishan and his two subordinates Y Token and A Rajen.

When the Manipur government, after the preliminary inquiry, found the charges against the IAS officer true, it placed him under suspension on February 19, 2009. The government further instructed Pal not to leave Imphal headquarters without the permission of the chief secretary . However, when an FIR was lodged against him at the Ukhrul police station, the officer-in-charge of the PS submitted that the IAS officer “could not be located.”

The matter would have swept  under the carpet had the slapping incident not made the national headlines. After Pal was “located” and found to be serving as the district magistrate of Gopalganj in Bihar, the Joint Action Committee probing the murder of the SDO in Manipur asked the investigating officer of the case to record the statement of Pal.

The district magistrate on Monday denied the murder charges and said he has been falsely implicated in the case. “Being a North Indian, I became a victim of insurgents’ vested interest in North-East. Even the CBI had found no concrete evidence against me while investigating the case,” Pal  said.

Notably, Pal was “slapped” by the principal of MM College in Gopalganj last week where he had gone to inspect the use of unfair means by girl examinees. Immediately after the “clash”, an FIR was registered against principal Madhu Prabha Singh, who was eventually arrested and put behind bars.

The slapping incident caused a furore in the Legislative Council, too, with Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress MLAs demanding action against the district magistrate as the principal had raised her hand in self-defence.The legislators and teachers alleged that it was Pal who roughed up the principal and subsequently put her behind bars. Not only that, another college teacher was also brutally assaulted by the bodyguards of the district magistrate .

In another related incident, a girl examinee of Class X had threatened to commit suicide when Pal caught her cheating. When Pal expelled her, she  committed suicide last month. The incident had  angered the local people at Gopalganj.

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