Letter on Ram temple sparks controversy,Home Secy removed

The letter called police,admn to a meeting on Oct 14 “to discuss construction of a temple at Ramjanmabhoomi,like the reconstruction of Somnath temple,by enacting a parliamentary law”.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: October 13, 2013 4:24:30 am

The UP government late Saturday transferred Secretary (Home) and suspended a section officer of the department for issuing a letter that “mistakenly” called senior administration and police officers for a meeting “to discuss the construction of a temple at Ramjanmabhoomi,like the reconstruction of Somnath temple,by enacting a parliamentary law”.

The letter,issued by Secretary (Home) Sarvesh Chandra Mishra,called officers for a meeting with Principal Secretary (Home) R M Srivastava on October 14 to discuss the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) proposed Sankalp Diwas in Ayodhya on October 18.

The subject of the letter mentioned: “Regarding the construction of temple at Ramjanmabhoomi like the reconstruction of Somnath temple,with the enacting a parliamentary law by Government of India.”

The UP government will also conduct an inquiry into the “clerical mistake” and “negligence” on the part of Home department officials in the confidential letter that was sent out on October 8.

The “error” in the letter’s subject has created a flutter in political circles.

Cabinet Minister Azam Khan said the government has taken the matter very seriously and people responsible for this will be punished.

“What is the level of this mistake? How did the name of Somnath temple come into the letter? An inquiry will be conducted. We want to know how deep the fascist forces have penetrated,” he said.

Talking to reporters on Saturday,Principal Secretary (Home) Srivastava said the subject of the letter was the result of “negligence” by some officials in the department.

He said the meeting was to take place Monday through a video conference to discuss the VHP’s programmes on October 18.

The Principal Secretary claimed that the information collected by the intelligence about the objective of the proposed VHP programmes was “mistakenly” mentioned in the subject of the letter — even though it is not a norm to mention subject in a meeting notice.

Srivastava said the letter was not related to any government policy and it was only a meeting notice to discuss the law and order situation.

He said the Sankalp Diwas functions are proposed by the VHP in the sequence of its earlier 84-kosi yatra and the meeting of senior police and administration officials,including those from Faizabad division,was to be held to discuss the situation of law and order and preparation for these proposed programmes.

Srivastava said the government will conduct an inquiry into the alleged negligence by officials who prepared the letter .

He said the department has issued a corrected letter Friday and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who is also the Home minister,is in the know of the issue.

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