UP govt forms SIT to probe videos of sr IAS officer

KANPUR: The state government on Tuesday ordered a probe by Special Investigating Team (SIT) into videos showing a senior IAS officer Mohammad Iftikharuddin, at present posted as Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) chairman telling people benefits of adopting Islam.
The viral video is said to be of a religious event when he was posted as divisional commissioner, Kanpur between 2014 and 2017. The videos also purportedly feature a religious leader sitting besides the officer.
In another video, Iftikharuddin is seen sitting on the ground while a Muslim cleric is giving radical lessons at his residence.
The SIT will be headed by DG, CB-CID, G L Meena while ADG Kanpur Zone Bhanu Bhaskar will be member. “SIT has been directed to submit the investigation report to the government in seven days,” said sources in the state home department.
After around half-a-dozen videos went viral, Math Mandir Coordination Committee national vice-president Bhupesh Awasthi also made several allegations against the IAS officer.
Awasthi said the videos show Iftikharuddin telling the benefits of adopting Islam. “I have seen the video in which a lot of inappropriate things are said against Hinduism. A lot of allegations are made. Statements are made in favour of a particular religion,” Awasthi added.
“In one such video, a Muslim cleric is speaking on conversion and the IAS officer is sitting and listening carefully to his plea. Muslim expert is inciting conversion by talking about Hindu religion. At the same time, in another video, Iftikharuddin is seen sitting on a chair and reading tales from religious books. He is saying… Declare to the people of the world that the sovereignty and authority of Allah is to be established in the whole world,” he said.
After the videos went viral, police commissioner Asim Kumar Arun instructed additional deputy commissioner of police (East) Somendra Meena to investigate the matter.
“The investigation of the viral videos of IAS officer Mohd Iftikharuddin taken at Kanpur commissioner’s residence has been entrusted to ADCP East, police commissionerate, Kanpur Nagar. It is being investigated whether the videos are authentic and if there is any crime in it,” tweeted police commissionerate, Kanpur Nagar.
On Monday, even deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya had said, “This is a serious matter. If there is anything like this, it will be taken seriously.”
Iftikharuddin was the divisional commissioner of Kanpur from February 17, 2014 to April 22, 2017. Later, he took over the post of labour commissioner. At present he is serving as a chairman of UPSRTC.

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