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Another head rolls in Ayodhya letter row

October 15, 2013 12:49 IST

The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday removed R M Srivastava from the post of Principal Secretary (Home), close on the heels of suspending IAS officer Sarvesh Chandra Mishra in connection with a controversial letter on "reconstruction" of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

"Principal Secretary Home Srivastava has been removed and Anil Kumar Gupta has been posted in his place," official sources said. Gupta has assumed charge.

Though no reason was cited for the transfer of Srivastava, it is presumed to be a fallout of the letter controversy.

The controversy had erupted over a communique by the state Home Secretary convening a meeting to discuss the "reconstruction of RamTemple in Ayodhya on the lines of SomnathTemple," with a red-faced SP government calling it an "error" and promising action against the guilty.

The government had on Sunday suspended Mishra from the post of Secretary (Home) following the letter to convene a meeting of the officers mentioning construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya as its subject.

"Instead of mentioning the actual subject, Secretary (Home) Sarvesh Chandra Mishra mentioned wrong and signed, extremely misleading and disputed subject in the letter regarding a meeting to be chaired by the Principal Secretary (Home) on October 14," an official statement had said.

"It has been decided to suspend Mishra, an IAS officer of 1997 cadre, with immediate effect and initiate departmental inquiry against him," it said.

The statement said that during suspension period Mishra would remain attached with the Revenue Board.

While Misra was transferred and put on the waiting list, section officer of the home department Prem Kumar Pandey was also placed under suspension.

The Principal Secretary (Home) had to apologise for the "error" and take responsibility for the folly of "junior level" officials. 

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