SWATI SINGH, MINISTER OF State (Independent Charge) for Women’s Welfare, Child Development and Nutrition in Uttar Pradesh, allegedly called the Nayab Tehsildar of Sarojini Nagar area in Lucknow a “gunda” during a public function on Tuesday.
While Singh could not be contacted, Nayab Tehsildar Manish Tripathi said the minister was unhappy with him as he has “worked against the sand mafia in the state capital”.
In a video, which was apparently filmed during a Tehsil Diwas event in Sarojininagar and has emerged on social media, Singh is purportedly heard saying, “Yeh Nayab Tehsildar hai ya gunda hai? Mujhe mere tehsil mein aise log nahi chahiye jo nuisance create karte hai. Aur yahaan pe Tehsil Diwas hai, tum kahaan ghoom rahe ho? Kahaan the? Saare adhikari toh yahaan baithe hain (Is he a Nayab tehsildar or a gunda? I don’t want such people in my tehsil… who create nuisance. It’s Tehsil Diwas. Where were you? All officers are here).”
Tripathi told The Indian Express, “I keep a weapon as I fear for my safety. It is licensed and senior officers know about it. I keep it because sometimes I go for raids at night alone and I don’t feel safe as I take on the sand mafia in the city. On the basis of this, she [minister Swati Singh] called me a ‘gunda’. I also work against land mafia in the area. In the past, officials have been killed by sand mafia in Lucknow. I have worked hard to bust illegal sand mafia in the tehsil.”
“She was rebuking me for not being present at the function. I was working in my office. I was called by the minister madam’s PSO, who said she wants me to attend the function,” said Tripathi, who has been Nayab Tehsildar in the area since September last year.
When contacted, District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash said, “Please talk to the SDM.” Despite repeated attempts, SDM Praful Tripathi did not comment. Minister Singh was also unreachable.
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