The Assam government has removed KK Gupta as a member of a Foreigners’ Tribunal in Baksa district a month after his controversial letter, in which he stated that relief money collected by certain members for Covid-19 should not be used for providing relief to those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi, “jihadis” and “jahil”.
In an order dated May 22, N Goswami, undersecretary to the Assam government’s political department, notified, “In the interest of public service… Kamalesh Kumar Gupta, Member, Foreigners Tribunal, Baksa stands released w.e.f. 23/5/2020 (afternoon) as his conduct has been found to be unbecoming of a responsible FT Member.”
A senior government official told The Indian Express, “The state cannot afford to have such a person in such a responsible position.” He said that Gupta’s contract had come up for renewal and the government decided against renewing it considering his conduct.
The Indian Express had in April reported about the letter — dated April 7 and signed by Gupta — addressed to state Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Gupta had said that he had withdrawn the letter and that it was never actually sent to the government. The letter mentioned the names of 12 other FT Members who distanced themselves from it later.
Soon after the matter was reported in the media, a case was filed after a complaint by the All Assam Minorities Students Union against Gupta. Barpeta Congress MP Abdul Khaleque also wrote to Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal demanding the termination of Gupta for his “highly communal” and “Islamophobic” letter.
In a letter dated April 30, N D Patowary, deputy secretary to the political department, issued show cause notice to the other members mentioned in Gupta’s letter after the FIR. “Such an act is unbecoming of a responsible FT Member, since it may lead to communal disharmony,” Patowary wrote. “You are hereby directed to show cause as to why you should not face disciplinary action for this act of yours,” he said.
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