The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Collector shifted, CM buys peace

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 12: In a bid to end the deadlock in the Sambalpur district administration, the Orissa government yesterday night transferred collector Vishal Gagan.

Joint secretary in the textiles department L.N. Nayak will succeed Gagan, who has been posted as director of sports.

Gagan was in the midst of a controversy for allegedly misbehaving with Jamankira block development officer Gopal Chandra Nayak at an official meeting recently. Nayak has been transferred to the revenue department.

Revenue divisional commissioner (RDC) Ashok Dalwai is inquiring into the matter. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had told media persons on Sunday that action would be taken based on the recommendations of the report.

Earlier, a delegation of the Orissa Administrative Service Association (OASA) met chief secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy and demanded Gaganís transfer. They contended that Gagan would tamper with the inquiry if he continued as the Sambalpur collector. They also said officials were in constant fear and the administration had collapsed.

However, Tripathy urged the OAS officials to maintain minimum restraint and not to resort to any kind of strike.

The delegation maintained that unless the collector is removed, no justice could be meted out in the incident. The delegation also said an impartial probe into the incident may be initiated only after the transfer of the collector.

The chief secretary assured the delegation that he would take immediate steps to solve the matter. The government was waiting for the report of the RDC (Northern Division) Ashok Mahadev Dalwai before initiating any action against Gagan.

The government had asked Dalwai to conduct an inquiry and submit a report. Dalwai said the inquiry process had just begun and it would be completed soon. Yesterday, members of the OAS Association wore black badges demanding Gaganís transfer.

The association had issued an ultimatum to the government that if the issue was not solved within 72 hours, it would resort to an indefinite strike in support of their demand.

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