The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered an inquiry by a SIT, or Special Investigation Team, from state police against senior IAS officer Mohammad Iftikharuddin, after videos were shared alleging that he was preaching about ‘religious conversion’ at his official residence.
Social media users alleged the videos were filmed in UP’s Kanpur town.
Mr Iftikharuddin is a 1985 batch officer who was posted in Kanpur between 2007 and 2018 in various positions. He is now in Lucknow as chief of the state’s Road Transport Corporation and has said he has been “misinterpreted”.
The videos in question were shared among others by the verified Twitter account of Neeraj Jain, who is the Deputy Mayor of the municipal corporation in Rajasthan’s Ajmer.
On his Twitter profile Mr Jain claims to be the former National Vice President of the BJP’s youth wing and an RSS worker.
The same video was also shared by the Twitter account of Sudharshan News, which , in the past, has been accused of peddling hate via TV and social media.
In a tweet this morning the Home Department of the UP government said the SIT’s inquiry would be headed by an officer of DGP, or Director-General of Police, rank and submit its report in seven days.
On Monday UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya said the state would take this matter seriously. “There will be an inquiry and we will take action after it concludes,” he said in response to a question from a journalist.
The videos shared on social media appear to show Mr Iftikharuddin seated on a chair in a room with 10-15 other people, all of whom are sitting on the ground. The 106-second video purportedly shows him preaching the virtues of Islam as his audience nods their heads.
Two other videos show other men taking to the same group while Mr Iftikharuddin remains seated in his chair.
In a tweet on Monday evening, Kanpur Police said they were checking to see if the videos are genuine, and whether they show any crime being committed.