A DAY after Joint Secretary (Foreigners) G K Dwivedi was suspended after it emerged that the FCRA registration of Zakir Naik’s NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) had been renewed on August 19 despite an ongoing probe against the controversial tele-evangelist, four Joint Secretaries posted as his colleagues in the ministry met Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on Saturday in support of Dwivedi and conveyed their dismay at his suspension.
According to sources, the four officers conveyed to Mehrishi that the action against Dwivedi was “harsh” and “demoralising”. Vouching for Dwivedi, they said he was “an honest and upright officer”.
Besides Dwivedi, three MHA officials involved in renewal of IRF’s registration — Under Secretaries Ipsita Saha Paul and Deepak Kumar and Section Officer Usha Bhangu — were suspended for negligence, while a data entry operator, Shyam Babu Kumar Manjhi, was removed.
According to sources, pleading his case before the Home Secretary, the four Joint Secretaries claimed Dwivedi should not have been suspended for lapses on the part of the junior officials. “He is a very honest officer and his integrity is beyond doubt. His nature is to keep a low profile and diligently carry out his work. His suspension is unfair and will send out a wrong message,” said one of the officers defending Dwivedi.
The renewal of IRF’s FCRA registration will be revoked, pending clearance on completion of an ongoing inquiry, top Home Ministry officials have said.