Agartala: Even as the chorus demanding the suspension of West Tripura District Magistrate (DM) Shailesh Kumar Yadav gets louder and departmental proceedings against him are underway following his action against two marriage halls for violating the night curfew, the Tripura government has, in fact, rewarded the official with additional responsibilities.
Yadav shot into the limelight after a video of him thrashing a groom for flouting the night curfew went viral on April 27. Following this, the DM faced major backlash from politicians, netizens and locals, while many others showed their support for the officer.
A notification issued by joint secretary to the government of Tripura S Roy Choudhury on April 29 said that Yadav, presently holding charge as West Tripura District Magistrate with additional charge of chief executive officer, Agartala Smart City Limited, will be also holding additional charges of commissioner, Tripura Urban Development Authority (TUDA), chief executive officer, Tripura Jal Board and Mission and Director of Agartala Smart City Limited.
The development comes following the central deputation of Dr Mahatme Sandeep Namdeo, director of urban development as deputy secretary in Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
“Dr Mahatme Sandeep Namdeo, IAS, is accordingly relieved from his present assignment of the state government with effect from the date he relinquishes the charge,” the order reads.
In a video of the district magistrate that went viral, Yadav was seen thrashing the groom by his collar, beating the priest and using unparliamentary language against relatives.
Later on Friday, Yadav appeared before a committee consisting of IAS officers Kiran Gitte and Tanushree Debbarma. The duo will submit their report to the Chief Secretary after completing the inquiry, after which the report would be handed over to Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.
However, after appearing before the committee, Yadav told EastMojo, “It is my duty to enforce the law and maintain order for the preventive spread of COVID-19. That’s what I did that night and I stand by what I did,” Yadav had said
The decision has raised questions as to why the state government gave additional charges to Yadav at a time when departmental proceedings are underway against him.
Analysts see this as a politically motivated action, since both the marriage halls — Gulab Bagan and Manikya Court — belong to the Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) chairman and royal scion Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman, whose party recently defeated BJP in the Autonomous District Council elections.