‘Peo­ple should cel­e­brate fes­ti­vals but there is no need to be ag­gres­sive’

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - HINDUSTANTIMES HTNATION -

LUC­KNOW: District mag­is­trate of Bareilly Raghven­dra Vikram Singh is in the eye of the storm for putting up a post on Face­book pur­port­edly tar­get­ing right wing groups.

He has since deleted the post, say­ing he wanted an aca­demic dis­cus­sion on the is­sue. The govern­ment has said it is con­sid­er­ing ac­tion against him. Singh started his ca­reer as a com­mis­sioned of­fi­cer in the In­dian Army and served in Jammu and Kash­mir in his seven-year ca­reer as an of­fi­cer. He later joined the UP Pro­vin­cial Civil Ser­vices.

Af­ter be­ing pro­moted to the IAS cadre, he has held the posts of mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner of Kan­pur and vicechair­man of the Varanasi Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity.

Singh was trans­ferred to Bareilly as DM in 2017 shortly af­ter the BJP came to power in UP. Singh spoke to Chan­dan Kumar on a range of is­sues, in­clud­ing the Kas­ganj vi­o­lence and his Face­book post. Ex­cerpts:

What made you write the post?

The post was writ­ten re­gard­ing the law and order sit­u­a­tion that got dis­turbed in Bareilly dur­ing Kan­war Ya­tra last year. I hoped for an aca­demic dis­cus­sion on the is­sue but it took a dif­fer­ent turn.

Was your post also re­lated to Kas­ganj com­mu­nal clashes?

Yes. The way the in­ci­dent in Kas­ganj started was sim­i­lar to the skir­mish in Bareilly.

Do you think the group which took out Ti­ranga Ya­tra in Kas­ganj should have sought per­mis­sion?

Ev­ery­one should cel­e­brate na­tional fes­ti­vals but should ab­stain from be­ing ag­gres­sive un­nec­es­sar­ily. Peo­ple should work in tan­dem with ad­min­is­tra­tion to avoid any con­flict.

Do you be­lieve that slo­gans against Pak­istan in cer­tain ar­eas pro­voke clashes?

To an ex­tent, yes. What is the need to shout such slo­gans? Even I will stop some­one shout­ing slo­gans out­side my res­i­dence with­out any rea­son. Mus­lims are also our broth­ers. We share the same DNA.

BJP lead­ers are call­ing your post po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.

My only mo­tive was to dis­cuss such is­sues and the im­pact they have on our sys­tem.

What kind of im­pact do you think such in­ci­dents have?

Th­ese in­ci­dents not only dis­turb peace of an area but also hin­der devel­op­ment. All of­fi­cers are de­ployed to main­tain law and order and devel­op­ment takes a back seat.

Were you forced to delete the post?

No. I did so to end the con­flict.

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