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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Former IAS officer questioned over tweets critical of govt

In the last one year, Surya Pratap Singh has been booked in six cases in the state for allegedly tweeting misinformation to create a divide in the society. He has been booked in two cases in Lucknow, while one each in Unnao, Varanasi, Kanpur and Kasganj district.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
Updated: June 6, 2021 7:30:56 pm
Surya Pratap Singh. (Express)

Retired IAS officer Surya Pratap Singh, who was recently booked after a Twitter user accused him of defaming the latter and the Uttar Pradesh government by sharing a “doctored audio”, was questioned by a team of police officers at his Lucknow residence on Saturday. Singh alleged that the questioning was a bid to intimidate him in order to silence his voice from raising people’s issues.

In the last one year, Singh has been booked in six cases in the state for allegedly tweeting misinformation to create a divide in the society. He has been booked in two cases in Lucknow, while one each in Unnao, Varanasi, Kanpur and Kasganj district.

Speaking to The Indian Express on Saturday evening, the 1982-batch retired officer alleged that the policemen came to his house to suppress his voice. “This (police questioning) was an attempt to instil fear in me. They want to silence me. So many police officers came to my house. They want to ruin my name in the society and want my neighbours and everyone else to think that I am a criminal. That is why such a huge team came to talk to me. The police spent four hours at my house, and that too after the Allahabad High Court has stayed any coercive action against me,” said Singh.
He added, “The police team that came to my house today comprised officers from Unnao and Lucknow. It was regarding the
case lodged against me in Unnao Kotwali,” said Singh.

On May 13, an FIR was lodged against Singh at Kotwali police station in Unnao for allegedly posting a tweet critical of the state government.

Singh was booked under IPC sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 465 (forgery), 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief), under the UP Public Health And Epidemic Diseases Control Act, 2020, Disaster Management Act, and the Information Technology Act.

During a hearing on May 31, the Allahabad High Court had stayed Singh’s arrest while hearing a petition seeking quashing of the FIR. The court had also said the petitioner shall fully cooperate with the investigation and shall appear as and
when called upon to assist in the investigation.

Following the questioning, Unnao police tweeted, “…It was (a) routine investigative procedure that investigating officer along with a sub-inspector and one sub-inspector from the local police station went to Surya Pratap Singh’s house to serve a notice under CrPC 41-A. The whole procedure finished within 45 minutes, and it was as per orders from the Allahabad High Court and due process.”

Lucknow police Commissioner D K Thakur said the visit by policemen had nothing to do with Lucknow police. “It is standard process to take a policeman from the local police station when a team comes from another district,” said Thakur.

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