Gujarat IAS officer Nitin Sangwan was allegedly held hostage and thrashed by a group of men associated with fishing activity during his visit to a village near the Dharoi dam in Sabarkantha district, said police on Wednesday.
It is suspected that detection of alleged irregularities in a fisheries project led to the incident.
Mr Sangwan, who serves as the Director of Fisheries, was accompanied by his subordinate staff during the visit to the village on Monday (March 6), and suffered injuries in the attack, but was out of danger now, said Sabarkantha district superintendent of police (DSP) Vishal Vaghela.
Police have arrested three persons for their alleged involvement in the attack on the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, he said.
"While three persons involved in the crime have already been arrested, efforts were on to identify and nab the other accused," said Mr Vaghela.
The bureaucrat and his team went to Ambavada village near the Dharoi dam built on the Sabarmati river for inspection of a fisheries project wherein the state government provides subsidy to local contractors to start "cage culture fishing" in the dam water.
As per the FIR (first information report), during the visit, the 2016-batch IAS officer was accompanied by DN Patel, a senior fisheries department official from Palanpur, and some junior staff.
Mr Patel, in his complaint to the Vadali police station, alleged that Babu Parmar, one of the fishing contractors and a key accused in the case, started arguing with Sangwan upon getting a hint the bureaucrat had caught his wrongdoings and may take legal action against him.
Babu Parmar, a resident of Kanthapura village under Khedbrahma taluka, suddenly got angry and bit Sangwan near his knees. Later, four other persons arrived at the spot and thrashed the IAS officer, said the FIR.
Babu Parmar then called 10 to 12 other men, who came to the spot armed with sticks, and held Sangwan and his team hostage till they agreed to write and sign on a piece of paper assuring they will not file a police complaint against him after leaving the place.
The FIR further alleged Babu Parmar and others threatened to throw Sangwan and his team members into the dam.
Based on the complaint given by Patel, the Vadali police had lodged an FIR against Babu Parmar and his men under various sections of the IPC, including 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death), 147 (rioting), 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 332 (causing hurt to public servant), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 353 (assaulting public servant).
Those arrested were identified by the police as Dilip Parmar, Nilesh Gamar and Vishnu Gamar, all residents of Banaskantha district.
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