Thrissur: Following a department-level probe into a complaint claiming that a prayer was conducted at a government office here to remove "negative energy" from there, a Kerala government official, KA Bindu has been suspended.
Bindu is the Thrissur District Child Protection Officer and she confirmed receipt of the suspension order dated November 16.
"I was on leave on November 18. When I came to the office today (November 20), I received the suspension order. It says I am suspended with immediate effect. Therefore, I am leaving now," she said.
Sources close to the official said the action against her was taken without hearing her or responding to the explanation she had given in respect of the incident which occurred in September.
They said that the prayer was held at around 5.30 pm after office hours and therefore, functioning of the department was not affected in any way.
Sources also said there was some work-related stress and tension and when a seminarian said that chanting a few verses would resolve the issue, permission was given for that.
But it was done after the office hours at around 5.30 pm, they said. They also said that the action against her has been taken by accepting what the complainant and other staff had to say and without hearing her side regarding the incident.
The office sources also said that the complaint was made by a former staff of the office who had left service on November 7.
The sources said that according to the officer she has only helped that former staff member and that she has not given any reason for anyone to hold any ill-will against her.
District Collector Krishna Teja had on November 11 ordered a probe by the sub-collector into the incident and sought a report.
The order of suspension followed that. According to reports, a contract employee of the same office wore a ceremonial Christian robe on the day of the incident and held a prayer allegedly upon the direction of the head of that office.
When the Collector came to know about the incident from the media, he immediately ordered an inquiry.
(With PTI inputs)