Patna Divisional Commissioner N Vijaylaxmi and three other top civil and police officials of the district administration were today removed from their posts by the Bihar government, two days after the stampede in the state capital that left 33 dead.

Besides Vijaylaxmi, the three others who were shifted were DIG Patna Range Ajitabh Kumar, Patna District’s District Magistrate Manish Kumar Verma and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Manu Maharaj, an official notification said.

The transfers were effected even as the state government vowed to punish those responsible for the “lapses” that led to the stampede.

Vijaylaxmi has been replaced by Tirhut Divisional Commissioner Narmadeshwar Lal while Upendra Kumar Sinha, the SP (Railway) in Patna, will take up Ajitabh Kumar’s post.

East Champaran District Magistrate Abhay Kumar Singh will replace Verma while Maharaj’s Muzaffarpur counterpart Jitendra Rana will be the new SSP of Patna.

Vijaylaxmi and Verma have been asked to report to the General Administration (GA) Department till further orders, the notification said.

Though the latest round of transfers in the police and GA Department is seen as fallout of the stampede outside the Gandhi Maidan on October 3, the state government remained tight lighted on the development with a senior minister merely saying that transfers have been effected to meet requirements of the state administration.

“Notifications have been issued for transfer of a number of IAS and IPS officials....beyond which I would not like to say anything,” Water Resources Department (WRD) Vijay Kumar Chaudhary told PTI.

“The state government is not going to spare anyone responsible for ‘lapses’ that led to the stampede outside the Gandhi Maidan,” he said.

He said that the probe team would jointly hold a public inquiry at the district Collectorate on October 7 to hear accounts of eyewitnesses and other people willing to depose.

The state government would also publish advertisements in newspapers appealing to the people to share information about the incident, he said.

On the lack of lighting arrangement at the venue on the day of the Dusshera celebrations, Chaudhary said the state government was aware of the matter, but would await the probe report to act.

The state government has instituted an inquiry and it is being conducted by Home Secretary Amir Subhani and Additional Director General of Police, Headquarters, Gupteshwar Pandey.

Pandey said the probe would be completed within a week and a report would be submitted to the State government.