MP govt issues notice to IAS officer for ‘The Kashmir Files’ remark

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The Madhya Pradesh government has issued show-cause notice to senior IAS officer Niyaz Khan for his comments on ‘The Kashmir Files’.

Khan, a 2015 batch IAS officer serving as deputy secretary with the Public Works Department, had last week urged makers of ‘The Kashmir Files’ to also make a film on the killings of large numbers of Muslims across several states in India.

Notice has been issued by the general administration department of the state government which is headed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. According to sources, the show-cause notice has been issued on Thursday evening, mentioning that the officer (Khan) has violated the rules of the civil services. He has been asked to submit his reply in seven days.

The notice was sent a day after several state ministers including Home Minister Narottam Mishra demanded action against Khan for his statements on the movie. On Wednesday, Mishra said that the officer had crossed and violated the ‘lakshman rekha’ (limit) set for (government) officials and therefore, a show cause notice will be issued to seek his reply.

In his defence, Khan has maintained that he made statements on a movie using his constitutional right of expression and alleged that he was being targeted for his religious identity. “If expressing an opinion on any serious issue is a violation, then such incidents have come where senior IAS and IPS officers have made comments. But, not a single notice was issued against them. I have been a victim of my name, especially my surname Khan,” Niyaz Khan said while talking to IANS on Thursday.

Khan added that apart from being an IAS officer, he is also a writer which makes him express his thoughts using the rights of freedom of expression under the Constitution of India. “What wrong did I do if I said that I would be transferred to Kashmir. I have posted four tweets – two on the movie and two on politicians. I will submit my reply to the department.”

Khan made statements on his Twitter account soon after the movie was released. The controversy over Khan gained momentum after one of his statements on his Twitter account, which reads, “I am thinking to write a book to show the massacre of Muslims on different occasions so that a movie like Kashmir Files could be produced by some producer, so that the pain and suffering of minorities could be brought before Indians.”

Among several tweets, he pointed directly or indirectly at various people including director of ‘The Kashmir Files’ Vivek Agnihotri, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and MP and president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Asaduddin Owaisi.—KMS

 

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