The assault on a senior IAS officer of Punjab, Kahan Singh Pannu, when he was overseeing relief and rescue operations in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand, has received widespread condemnation.

Major resentment swept the Punjabi community after a video which was uploaded on a social media portal showed a mob mercilessly thrashing Mr. Pannu who was deputed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to lead a Punjab team to evacuate pilgrims stuck at various places in Uttarakhand.

Mr. Pannu was otherwise posted as Director General of School Education.

Mr. Badal described the incident as “deplorable in the extreme.” He said that the incident had done great disservice to the cause of relief and rehabilitation where officers were risking their own lives. He also expressed surprise that security arrangements were so “pathetically inadequate.”

The president of the Punjab unit of the Congress, Partap Singh Bajwa, demanded a judicial probe into the incident as he feared that the assault was a planned conspiracy, especially since the officer had recently earned the displeasure of a Minister for his proactive role in a scam.

The Congress leader expressed surprise that the State Cabinet which met at Chandigarh on June 24 did not take cognisance of the assault on its officer.

A condemnation note from the Punjab IAS officers Association also said that the attack on Mr. Pannu was pre-meditated.