The Delhi government Saturday suspended an official of the Directorate of Civil Defence after controversy broke out over the text of an advertisement, inviting applications for civil defence volunteers, clubbed Sikkim with neighbouring countries Bhutan and Nepal.
The advertisement, while laying down the eligibility criteria for volunteers, read: Citizen of India or a subject of Sikkim or of Bhutan or of Nepal and a resident of Delhi.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, under whom the Services department in Delhi government falls, tweeted on Saturday evening: “A senior officer of Directorate of Civil Defence (HQ) has been suspended with immediate effect for publishing an advertisement which disrespects the territorial integrity of India by making incorrect reference to Sikkim on the same lines as some neighbouring countries.”
“Zero tolerance for such gross misconduct! Direction has also been given immediately to withdraw the offensive advertisement,” he said in another tweet.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also tweeted: “Sikkim is an integral part of India. Such errors also cannot be tolerated. Advertisement has been withdrawn and action taken against the officer concerned.”
Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari, meanwhile, took aim at the Delhi government, saying: “I don’t believe such mistakes can be made. This is a big issue.”
A senior Delhi government official, however, said the language of the advertisement was based on the MHA’s Civil Defence Regulations, 1968, which lists Sikkim along with Bhutan and Nepal. Sikkim became an Indian state in 1975.
Earlier, Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang had tweeted condemning the ad and asking that it be withdrawn: “This advertisement published by the Delhi government in various print media mentions Sikkim along with countries like Bhutan and Nepal. Sikkim has been a part of India since 1975 and celebrated the State Day just a week ago… I would request the Delhi government to rectify this issue.”
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