Dipankar Ghildiyal has been transferred to directorate, social welfare department in Haldwani with immediate effect.(Courtesy- Twitter/@DeepankarGhild1)
Dipankar Ghildiyal has been transferred to directorate, social welfare department in Haldwani with immediate effect.(Courtesy- Twitter/@DeepankarGhild1)

Uttarakhand officer who highlighted interfaith marriage scheme, transferred

A press released issued on November 19 by Ghildiyal had mentioned an existing government scheme promising Rs 50,000 incentive for interfaith and inter caste unions ‘to promote social unity and harmony’.
By Kalyan Das | Edited by Abhinav Sahay | Hindustan Times, Dehradun
PUBLISHED ON DEC 02, 2020 05:50 PM IST

The Uttarakhand government has transferred district social welfare officer of Tehri Garhwal district, Dipankar Ghildiyal, who had issued a press release to promote a government scheme to encourage inter-faith marriages. He has been shifted to the directorate of social welfare department in Haldwani.

The transfer order by director, social welfare department, came nine days after the controversy erupted, leading to chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat ordering an enquiry headed by state chief secretary to find out the ‘circumstances’ necessitating the press release. The transfer order was issued Tuesday late evening. HT has seen a copy of the same.

“District social welfare officer of Tehri Garhwal, Dipankar Ghildiyal has been transferred to directorate, social welfare department in Haldwani with immediate effect,” states the transfer order, issued by director social welfare Vinod Goswami. The order instructs Ghildiyal to take up his new charge ‘immediately’.

Ghildiyal had issued the press release on November 19, mentioning an existing government scheme promising Rs 50,000 incentive for interfaith and inter caste unions ‘to promote social unity and harmony’.

However, on November 21, the press release started making rounds on social media with many accusing BJP-led Uttarakhand government of promoting love-jihad by offering money to interfaith couples.

Also Read: Congress leader in Uttarakhand blames ‘BJP sleeper cells’ for differences in party

Following the controversy, economic advisor to the chief minister, Alok Bhatt clarified, saying, “The press release is concerned with one scheme in force under one such scheme of Uttar Pradesh government since 1976 as made applicable to Uttarakhand.”

“As UP is the parent state, there is an unwritten code that schemes, rules etc are generally copied from it in Uttarakhand and so was this scheme,” he said, adding that the then Congress government in 2014 had increased the initial amount of incentive from Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000.

Later, the same evening, CM Rawat ordered an inquiry into the matter.

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