Ernakulam: Kerala has suspended controversial civil servant Anupam Mishra, who this week jumped a stay-at-home order over the coronavirus scare and fled the state. The disciplinary action was announced by the state's chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday.
Mishra, Sub-Collector of Kerala's Kollam district, was under 14-day mandatory home quarantine since 19 March after his return from an international trip. He was, however, found missing at his home by a village-level monitoring team this week. A later call to his cell phone was traced to Uttar Pradesh, according to official estimates, although he claimed to his superiors that he is in Bengaluru.
"The sub collector’s act brought shame to the entire government operation. He will be suspended and an investigation will follow," said Vijayan.
Earlier on Friday, Kollam police had lodged a First Information Report (FIR) against Mishra, booking him under Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 271 (Disobedience to quarantine law) under the Indian Penal Code, reported the website The Newsminute.
Meanwhile, according to local reports, the officer justified his action to the superiors, stating that he thought home quarantine was a directive to go home to be with his relatives in his native state. He also complained of non-availability of food and other resources at his collectorate guest house, local reports said.
His superior officer and Kollam Collector B Abdul Nasser on Friday refuted the officer's claims and called for his suspension in a report submitted before the boss of state bureaucrats, Kerala's chief secretary Tom Jose. Nasser said the sub-collector's action was a serious breach of service rule.
"He was on leave after his marriage and took permission to travel to Malaysia and Singapore. On his return I advised him to remain under home quarantine. Seems like he left to be with his family at Bengaluru," Nasser told PTI.