Amid Row Over Wedding Raids, West Tripura DM Moved Out of Agartala

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West Tripura District Magistrate Shailesh Kumar Yadav, who was in the news for the raids on two marriage parties which were being held in violation of COVID-19 restrictions has been transferred to Belonia in South Tripura district, an order from the state government released on Wednesday, 5 May said.

The video of the DM’s raid where he can be seen mishandling and misbehaving with people had gone viral.

On 3 May, he had been suspended by the state government, following his letter to the Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar on Sunday in which he requested to be relieved from the post of District Magistrate and Collector pending an inquiry into the incident, reported IANS.

Also Read: Tripura DM Raids Marriage Functions: Necessary or Excessive?

According to a report by The Indian Express, the Tripura High Court on Wednesday said that it was necessary for the DM to be shifted out of Agartala in order for an impartial inquiry to be carried out in the case.

The Case So Far

Following a direction by Yadav, as many as 31 people, including 19 women, were detained by the police from the marriage halls for violating the night curfew and other Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) enforced to curb the COVID spread.

However, all the 31 people were subsequently released from the West Agartala police station, reported IANS.

After the controversy over the incident on 26 April, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had asked the Chief Secretary to submit a report about the DM’s actions in dealing with the marriage ceremonies.

The state government had also constituted a two-member committee to probe the incident.

What Did Yadav Do?

Following the incident, Yadav had apologised for his actions.

"If anyone got hurt due to my action, I am apologising for that. I have done this for the larger interest of the society and the people. I have taken the strict action to give a message to the people to maintain the government SOP," Yadav told a local television channel.

Also Read: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb Tests Positive for COVID-19

However, a day later, while appearing before a committee to explain his actions, Yadav appeared to change his stance.

"“It is my duty to enforce law and order and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I stand by whatever I did that night.”" - Shailesh Kumar YadavWhat Has Tripura HC Done?

On Monday, the HC had served a notice to the Tripura government to submit video footage, necessary evidence and other documents in connection with the 26 April incidents in the two marriage halls.

On Wednesday, hearing a PIL and two writ petitions filed by people involved in the weddings, the Tripura HC has reconstituted the enquiry committee set up by the government and included retired district judge Subhash Sikdar in it, reported The Indian Express.

The court has also ordered the state to provide all required assistance to the committee and suggest measures to be taken.

(With inputs from The Indian Express and IANS.)

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