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LUCKNOW: A controversy erupted after UP director general (home guard) Surya Kumar was caught on camera taking a pledge at a public event to construct a Ram temple in Ayodhya. Kumar is the second-most senior IPS officer in the state and was in the race for the state police chief ‘s post till last month. The 1982-batch IPS officer took the pledge, along with several others, at an event titled “Ram Mandir Nirman Samasya Evam Samadhan” at Lucknow University.
The event was organised by Akhil Bharatiya Samgra Vichar Manch some days ago. Participants resolved to construct a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, saying, “Hum sab Ram bhakt aaj is karyakram ke dauran yeh sankalp lete hain ki jald se jald Ram mandir ka bhavya nirman ho. Jai Shri Ram (We, the devotees of Ram, take a pledge at this event to construct a grand Ram temple at the earliest. Jai Shri Ram).”
‘Kumar’s conduct unbecoming of an officer’
In a damage control attempt, Kumar UP director general (home guard) Surya Kumar issued a statement on Friday that he had been invited as a guest to the event, which was aimed at finding an amicable solution to the Ram temple dispute.
He added that only a partial recording from the event had been leaked in which he was caught taking the pledge amid Jai Shri Ram slogans. He said the decision of the apex court on the matter would be binding.
However, Kumar’s IPS fraternity was quick to criticise him as the video went viral on Friday. IPS Association, the official Twitter handle of Indian Police Service (Central) Association, said in the evening, “We disassociate ourselves from the act of a senior #IPS officer as shown in the video and reiterate that it is against the ethos of neutrality, fairness and uprightness that Indian Police Service stands for.”
Retired IPS officer and former UP DGP A K Jain said Kumar’s conduct was unbecoming of an officer. “It does not matter whether a government employee attends private events, he should not indulge in professing religion.
According to conduct rules, one has to exit office before preaching or propagating religious or political ideology.
What Kumar did was unethical and he should have waited for his retirement to participate in such events,” said Jain.
On January 28, Bareilly DM RV Singh had courted controversy by posting a comment on communal clashes in Kasganj on Facebook.
He was forced to delete the post later. Both the officers are due for retirement shortly — Kumar in August and Singh in April.