U.P. Principal Secretary removed for temple goof-up

RM Srivastava has been replaced by Anil Kumar Gupta, who was posted as member of the Revenue Board.

The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday removed R.M. Srivastava from the post of Principal Secretary (Home), just a few days after two other officials of the home department were suspended over the controversial Ram temple letter issue.

Srivastava has been replaced by Anil Kumar Gupta, who was posted as member of the Revenue Board.

Reportedly, the decision was taken at the highest level as the government wanted to send a stern message to the bureaucracy that people ending up embarrassing the state government will not be spared.

Srivastava was hand picked at the time of the government formation March 2012 by Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

In a letter (4622 D/F-Pu-4-2013) dated Oct 9, Sarvesh Chandra Mishra, secretary of the state home department had informed senior police and administrative officials of a meeting to “discuss the construction of a Shri Ramjanbhoomi temple in Ayodhya through a parliamentary law on lines of the reconstruction of the Somnath temple in Gujarat”.

The letter had further detailed that the meeting would be presided over by principal secretary (Home) at the IInd floor command centre of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Bhawan office Oct 14.

The invitees include the director general of police (DGP), additional director general of police (ADG) law and order, IG (railways), ADG (Intelligence), IG (law and Order), IG Lucknow, IG Faizabad and DM/SSP Faizabad.

Despite his apologies in front of the media, Srivastava paid for the goof up.

As the letter found its way to the media, the opposition pounced on the Samajwadi Party government and accused it of conniving with communal forces.

The letter was a big blow to the Akhilesh Yadav government with regard to its relationship with Muslims, who are angry over the Muzaffarnagar riots of September that killed 62 persons and displaced over 43,000.

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