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Govt may act against Bareilly DM for FB post on Kasganj, officer apologises

Bareilly district magistrate Raghvendra Vikram Singh asked on Facebook why anti-Pakistan slogans were raised in a Muslim-dominated locality of Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj, where communal clashes have killed one person.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2018 10:06 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Kasganj clashes,Communal clashes,Republic Day
Personnel of the Rapid Action Force keep vigil in Kasganj on Sunday. (PTI)

The district magistrate of Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly may face action for his comment on Facebook allegedly criticising right-wing Hindu organisations for inciting communal violence in Kasganj, a post which he deleted and tendered an apology on Tuesday for causing “pain”.

Deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said action could be taken against Raghvendra Vikram Singh for posting the controversial comment as rules prohibit government servants from making such remarks on social media.

“He appeared to be making a statement like a party spokesman despite the fact that government servants are bound by rules,” Maurya said over the phone.

Sources said chief minister Yogi Adityanath was unhappy with Singh’s comment.

“These days, a strange trend of visiting Muslim-dominated localities and shouting anti-Pakistani slogans has started. Are they Pakistanis? The same thing happened in Bareilly. Why don’t we raise anti-China slogans when the fact is that China is a bigger enemy than Pakistan,” 59-year-old Singh wrote on Sunday.

Singh, who was also trolled on social media for his remarks, wrote on Tuesday that he was referring to the law and order problem he encountered during the Kanwar Yatra in Bareilly in his earlier post.

“I had hoped there will be an academic discussion but unfortunately it had taken a different turn. Extremely sad. We hold a discussion so that we can better ourselves,” he said.

“But it appears that many found the post objectionable and were hurt by it. My intention was not to hurt anyone. It’s our administrative and moral duty to improve the communal atmosphere,” he wrote.

“Muslims are our brothers... Our blood. We have the same DNA. We could not bring them back. We will discuss this later. The sooner we understand the concepts of integration and harmony, the better it will be for our country, state and our district,” he added.

“There is no doubt that Pakistan is our enemy but Muslims are our own. I want that the controversy should end here. I do apologise if our friends and brothers are pained because of me.”

His earlier remarks sparked outrage and senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar demanded action against the senior IAS official, who is in Lucknow to attend a meeting of the DMs convened by the chief minister.

BJP MLA Rajesh Mishra said Singh should be put behind the bars for the objectionable post.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh said a report had been sought from the state government on the clashes in Kasganj.

A 23-year-old man was killed after a communal violence broke out in the small town nearly 340km northwest of Lucknow on Friday. A preliminary investigation said the clashes broke out after a group of men took out a ‘Tiranga Yatra’ in the Muslim-dominated Baddu Nagar area on Republic Day.

Over hundred people have been arrested on charges of murder and violence.

First Published: Jan 30, 2018 17:55 IST