Bastar: Two IAS officers in Chhattisgarh have been issued notice for not wearing the bandhgala prescribed by protocol when they greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter's visit to Naxal-affected areas of the state last week.
Amit Kataria, the district magistrate of Bastar, has also been reprimanded for keeping his dark glasses on when he met PM Modi on an air strip along with Dantewada Collector KC Dev Senapati. Neither officer wore a bandhgala.
They have violated IAS rules, the state's BJP government alleged in its notice.
Local media had reported that when Mr Kataria received Mr Modi on the air strip after he landed in Bastar on May 9, the prime minister had called him a "Dabang" or fearless officer. It was seen as appreciation of his work in a difficult region.
Mr Kataria had posted a picture of his handshake with the Prime Minister on his Facebook page. He is wearing a blue shirt and dark glasses in the photograph.
Chief Minister Raman Singh, who had reportedly congratulated the two officers for arrangements after the PM's first visit to the region, defended the notice, pointing out that no action has been taken against the officers.
"The notice has been given as a warning that they must maintain protocol for the PM," Mr Singh said, adding, "All officers must maintain absolute integrity and do nothing unbecoming of a member of the service."
The state government reportedly reacted late to the "breach of protocol" because the entire administration, including the two officers, were dealing with a hostage crisis, with Naxals having abducted over 500 villagers the night before the PM landed in the state.
The officers have offered no comment yet on the reprimand. But they are said to be upset because the rule cited in the notice deals with conduct of duty and not with a dress code.
Someone close to Mr Senapati told NDTV: "The collectors had carried coats, but did not wear them as it was quite hot.