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IAS Officer Suspended for Fleeing Kerala While Under Quarantine After Foreign Trip

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government on Friday suspended IAS officer Anupam Mishra, who left the state violating instructions to remain under home quarantine after his trip abroad. An FIR had been registered against Mishra, the Kollam Sub-Collector, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, on the basis of a report from the health department about the violation.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters that the officer had left without taking permission from the authorities. “That is not a right act. We have requested those under observation to strictly follow quarantine instructions. But when a responsible officer like the sub collector fled Kerela, it has brought disgrace to the state, Vijayan said. Hence, “We have decided to suspend him”, he said.

The young IAS officer had returned to the state on March 19 from his honeymoon abroad and had been asked to remain under observation. However, he left for his brother’s place in Bengaluru without informing anyone.

Kollam Collector B Abdul Nasser said Mishra had returned to Kerala on March 19 from his Malaysia-Singapore trip and was advised to remain under quarantine, as per the protocol for overseas returnees in the backdrop of coronavirus outbreak.

Though he underwent a medical examination, he did not show symptoms. His personal staff, including gunman, have also been kept under observation. When the Collector got in touch with him, Mishra informed him that he was in Bengaluru.

However, police said Mishra’s mobile tower location showed that he was at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Authorities came to know on Thursday that Mishra, who had been staying alone in his quarters at Kollam, was not there after health department staff, who regularly visit people in quarantine, found the lights in his house switched off, police sources said.

“When an officer leaves his jurisdiction, he is supposed to inform the government, which Mishra did not do. He has also not taken prior permission for leaving the state,” the Collector said.

A case has been registered against him under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (Negligent Act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 271 (disobedience to quarantine rule), police said.

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