Scheduled Castes Commission seeks report from State Chief Secretary on Anil Vij-Sangeeta Kalia spat

New Delhi(PTI): The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has taken cognizance of the “indecent” remarks made by Haryana’s Health Minister Anil Vij against IPS officer Sangeeta Kalia and has sought a report from the state Chief Secretary in the matter.

Anil Vij

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij

Slamming Vij’s “get out” remarks against the woman officer, the Commission’s member Ishwar Singh said on Saturday that he has sought a report from the Haryana government within a week. He also said that once the report comes, the Commission will see if it is a fit case under the provisions of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as the remarks were made against the woman officer, who is from Dalit community.

Sangeeta Rani Kalia, SP of Fatehabad district, was shunted out on Saturday, a day after a verbal spat with Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij. Replying to questions of reporters at Kurukshetra, Ishwar Singh said no matter how senior a Minister may be, he has no business to use such a language against anyone, more so against a woman officer, who is a Dalit.

“Using such a language against a officer, who is from the Dalit community, more so when these were made at a public function, is highly condemnable.

Once the report comes, we will see if a case is made out (against the Minister) under the ambit of Section 338 of the (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,” he said, adding he has sought a detailed report from the Chief Secretary.

The outspoken Minister had on Thursday stormed out of a meeting of District Grievances and Public Relations Committee at Fatehabad after the police officer refused to follow his order to leave the venue following heated exchanges between them. The video of their spat went viral on social media. The Minister’s remarks triggered protests from various quarters at different parts of the state today.

While Haryana Police Karamchari Sangh slammed the Minister for his alleged indecent behaviour towards a lady officer, main opposition INLD hit the streets in Fatehabad today coming out strongly in support of the officer.

Local INLD leaders led by Balwan Singh who took out a protest march in Fatehabad and burnt the effigy of the Minister said Sangeeta Kalia was “an honest officer”. A student organisation also took out a march in Bhiwani, demanding that “honest officers not be punished”. The Minister’s conduct also came in for sharp criticism from many among those present at the meeting yesterday with a communication also being

A communication is also stated to have been sent to the Chief Minister about yesterday’s episode by many of those present at the meeting yesterday, mentioning when the SP politely denied any police role in the matter, the Minister still got angry and humiliated Kalia by asking her to get out.

The incident has lowered the morale of the police and the district administration officials, the communication mentions, while pointing out the government’s image was bound to be affected and suitable action against the Minister should be taken immediately.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar earlier on Saturday told reporters in Karnal that he had taken cognizance of the matter and it would be dealt with appropriately. While Vij spoke to Khattar about the incident, the SP had sent her report to Haryana DGP Yash Pal Singal.

Watch the spat between Sangeeta Kalia and Vij here: