Haryana minister orders arrest of 'corrupt' official at meeting

Haryana minister orders arrest of 'corrupt' official at meeting

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij ordered the arrest of a "corrupt" SDO at a meeting in Kaithal even as the official pleaded for a chance to present his own case, according to a dramatic video clip on social media.

“Arrest him,’ Vij is heard telling policemen in the video purported to be of the district grievance redressal committee’s monthly meeting chaired by the minister yesterday.

The minister wanted the Public Health Engineering Department’s sub divisional officer (SDO) Ved Pal arrested over a graft complaint made by a contractor, Digvijay Singh of Kakheri village.

However, the local police had not carried out the arrest “order” up to this evening.

The minister repeatedly refused to hear out the SDO even when Superintending Engineer A K Pahwa came out in support of the junior officer, who is posted in Guhla.

Vij said if the complaint was proved false, the SDO can file a case against the complainant under section 182 of the Indian Penal Code, which punishes giving false information to a government official.

Pahwa suggested that an FIR should be registered only after an inquiry into the complaint.

Vij said, "Corruption is rampant in your entire department. I am not going to listen to anything. You can place your proof of innocence in the judicial court," he said in Hindi.

The SDO was seen being pushed back by the security staff as he tried to show some documents to the minister.

The minister got angry when the SDO said he was trying to place his version in a democratic manner.

"Arrest him," the minister told the policemen present at the meeting.

"Oh bhai, mera naam Anil Vij hai. Pata hai tere ko (My name is Anil Vij. Do you know that)?" he is heard saying at one point.

When the SDO was told to sit by the security staff, he likened Vij's behaviour to the reign of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

“It is like the rule of Aurangzeb, Aurangzeb's rule was better than this,” the official said.

Following this, the minister ordered the security staff to show him the door.

The police said today they are waiting for a record of the meeting's proceedings before making the arrest.

The minister could not be reached for comment.