IAS officer Raghvendra Vikkram Singh, who had shared a post on Facebook compelling right-wing Hindu groups not to provoke communal clashes, deleted it after facing backlash.
According to NDTV, Singh said that there was now a trend "to visit Muslim areas and raise slogans against Pakistan." He asked why people were doing that. "Are they (Muslims) Pakistanis?" he asked in the post. "The same thing had happened in Khailam village of Bareilly. Then stones were thrown, FIRs lodged," he added in the post.
The comments were made a few days after communal clashes on riddled Kasganj city in Uttar Pradesh. At least three shops, two buses and a car were torched after a youth, Chandan Gupta, was killed in clashes following stone-pelting by a mob on a motorcycle rally which was taken out to celebrate Republic Day.
Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik called the communal clashes a "blot" on the state and asked the government to initiate measures to ensure such incidents did not recur.
Despite deleting this post, the Bareilly district magistrate posted another message regarding the incident. "I had hoped there will be an academic discussion (on Kasganj) but unfortunately it had taken a different turn," he lamented in the post. "I do apologise if our friends and brothers are pained because of me," he added. He urged people to stop seeing Muslims as the 'enemy'.
Singh had also spoken to the Hindustan Times regarding the Kasganj violence: "It was a small incident, but see how big its implications were. The SP of Kasganj has been transferred and people are questioning the working of the district magistrate. These incidents affect the ongoing developmental work.
Singh was referring to the transfer of the superintendent of police Sunil Kumar Singh on Monday. He also spoke to the Times of India, saying that he was hurt and angry at what is happening "in the name of nationalism."
The Yogi Adityanath-led government has stressed those guilty of clashes in Kasganj will not be spared. After explosives were found during house-to-house searches, the Uttar Pradesh Police chief said the National Security Act (NSA) would be invoked against the culprits.
Meanwhile, Congress Rajya Sabha member Pramod Tiwari has demanded a high-level probe by sitting high court judge into this matter. "It's certainly a failure of the state government. There should be a high-level probe by a sitting high court judge in this matter," Tiwari said.
Sanjeev Gupta, inspector general, Aligarh Range told ANI that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the Kasganj clashes. A magisterial inquiry will also be launched to look into the issue, he added.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jan 30, 2018 16:10 PM