Panel formed to probe officials’ role in the incident

On the heels of the dismissal of Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Revenue and Rehabilitation Vinod Kumar Singh alias Pandit Singh, on charges of abducting Gonda district’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) S.P. Singh, the Akhilesh Yadav government on Saturday shunted out the entire top brass of the district administration, including the CMO.

The government formed a commission of inquiry, to be headed by the Commissioner of Lucknow Division Sanjeev Mittal, to probe the district officials’ role in the alleged kidnapping incident. The panel has been asked to submit its report to the government within a week.

Serious view

An official spokesman said the government had taken a serious view of the incident and transferred, among others, the Gonda District Magistrate, the Superintendent of Police (SP) City and Chief Development Officer (CDO) Abhay Pratap Singh.

The most senior Deputy CMO will take over as the CMO, the spokesman said, while Ms. Roshan Jacob has been appointed as the District Magistrate and Navneet Rana as the SP. Munna Lal Pandey will take over as the CDO.

Mr. Vinod Singh resigned on Friday after being asked by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to submit his papers following allegations that he was holding Dr. Singh hostage for refusing to accommodate his favourites as Ayush doctors in the district.

The CMO went missing on Monday night, after giving the slip to his alleged abductors.

Dr. Singh surfaced on Friday after Mr. Vinod Singh tendered his resignation. Within hours, the CMO rejoined his duty.

The former Minister, known for his alleged highhandedness, denied the allegations and accused his rivals of masterminding the episode.

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