Bhopal/Singrauli: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav on Thursday ordered the transfer of the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Chitrangi tehsil in Singrauli district after a viral photo showed a woman tying his shoelaces during a public event.
Yadav said although he knows that the SDM had suffered an injury, the picture that emerged does not give a "good message", and asserted that women's respect was of paramount importance for his government.
Chitrangi SDM, Aswan Ram Chiravan, against whom the CM took action, said he had suffered a knee-injury last month, but despite that he attended a religious programme on January 22, where he removed his shoes to perform an 'aarti'. After that, a woman staffer from his office came forward to tie his shoelaces and the photo went viral.
Addressing a programme in Bhopal, CM Yadav said, "I saw a photo yesterday which showed a deputy collector getting his shoelace tied by a woman publicly. I know that the woman was doing this act out of her own wish and there is no ill-intention behind it. I also came to know that the SDM was suffering with some injuries...but the picture that emerged publicly has not given a good message." "But who is going to ask you about your health? Its impact will not be good in the society. If you (SDM) were sick, then you should have gone on a leave and nobody will stop you from doing so. Moreover, we told him that we are not suspending you and only removing you from the post so that next time you will remember what to do," he said.
The CM was addressing newly-selected government officers at the event, where they were given appointment letters.
An official said the CM gave Chitrangi SDM's transfer order before he reached the programme venue in Bhopal.
In a post on social media platform X before attending the event, CM Yadav said the incident in which the SDM got his shoelaces tied by a woman was highly condemnable, and women's respect was of paramount importance for his government.
He also said that such acts cannot be justified on any grounds as under the BJP regime any programme begins with the worship of girls.
Providing details of the sequence of events, SDM Chiravan told PTI that he had suffered a knee injury as an iron rod hit him during an inspection of an under-construction work on Gopad river in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Rajendra Shukla on December 30.
On January 22, his staff called him to take part in a religious programme organised at the local Hanuman temple (in Chitrangi) on the occasion of the consecration of Ram Lalla idol in Ayodhya temple.
He said that although he was unable to walk properly, he went there with the help of his staff and there he removed his shoes for taking part in 'aarti' at the event.
Later, when he was trying to wear his shoes, a woman staffer of his office willingly helped him in tying the shoelaces and a photo of the act went viral on social media following which the chief minister ordered his removal from the post, the SDM said.