Spat with minister: Haryana transfers woman police officer

Chandigarh: The Haryana government transferred IPS officer Sangeeta Kalia on Saturday, a day after she refused to leave a meeting when Health and Sports Minister Anil Vij told her to "get out" after a heated argument over liquor smuggling.

"Sangeeta Rani, superintendent of police, Fatehabad, has been posted as Commandant 4th IRB (India Reserve Battalion), Manesar, relieving Vikas Dhankar of the additional charge," a state government spokesman said here.

Om Prakash is the new district police chief in Fatehabad.

Vij and Kalia were involved in an unsavoury spat during a meeting in Fatehabad on Friday over the issue of police not curbing liquor smuggling in the district effectively.

The minister snubbed the woman IPS officer, who was in uniform and seated next to him, and told her to "get out" of the meeting in the presence of several officers and others present there. However, the woman police officer stood her ground and refused to go out.

The infuriated minister left the meeting and later said that he will not attend the meeting till Kalia was posted in the district.

Vij, who is an outspoken but upright minister, later said that he had complained about the officer to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

When she was yelled at, Kalia demanded to know "why" she needed to leave, and said: "I am not leaving." She told the minister that he could not "insult her like this".

When the minister alleged that the smuggling was happening with police patronage, Kalia said: "This is wrong. You cannot say this."

The minister, who was attending a public grievances' committee meeting of which he is the chairman, had asked the officer what she was doing to curb liquor smuggling in areas bordering Punjab. The complaint regarding the smuggling was made by an NGO of the area working to check the liquor menace.

"We are taking action. We have registered over 2,500 cases. Many of these people come out on bail and indulge in smuggling again," Kalia told the minister.

However, the minister kept arguing. He appeared to suggest that she was responsible for the lack of action against the smugglers.

When Kalia objected to this, Vij asked her to leave the meeting.

Kalia even said that the government was granting licences for liquor sale.

"Her attitude is not good. I had taken up the matter with her two or three times but her approach was very casual," Vij told the media.

Deputy Commissioner N.K. Solanki and other district officers were present at the meeting but did not intervene.

Solanki followed the minister till his car and tried to stop him from leaving but the minister was adamant.

Kalia did not say much about the incident. Asked by the media for her reaction, Kalia said in Hindi: "There is nothing to say... You know everything."

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