UP: Ex-IAS officer among three booked for ‘defaming’ govt

The FIR, dated May 31, was filed at the Kalyanpur police station against Singh, Lucknow resident Puneet Saini and Patna resident Himanshu Saini based on a complaint from Kanpur resident Atul Khushwaha.

A retired IAS officer and two others were named in an FIR in Kanpur earlier this week after a Twitter user accused them of defaming him and the state government by sharing a “doctored audio”, officials said on Wednesday. It was the second FIR registered against former bureaucrat Surya Pratap Singh in May.

The FIR, dated May 31, was filed at the Kalyanpur police station against Singh, Lucknow resident Puneet Saini and Patna resident Himanshu Saini based on a complaint from Kanpur resident Atul Khushwaha.

In the complaint registered the day before, Khushwaha alleged, “On May 30, retired IAS officer Surya Pratap Singh tweeted a voice recording in which two people are conversing and are talking about give and take of money for tweeting in favour of Yogi ji. In the conversation, one person, Puneet Saini… and another, Himanshu Saini (Vikas) are talking and my name has also been brought up. I have been a supporter of Yogi ji for a few years and have been writing on social media in his favour. I promote the good policies of Yogi ji and the government on Twitter selflessly. But as part of the cheap politics of the Opposition, my name is being ruined on social media. The audio is also attempting to defame the Yogi government.”

Kanpur Commissioner Asim Arun said, “Our teams are questioning them in Lucknow and Patna. We are probing the matter and are trying to reach the source of the audio.”

The police have invoked IPC section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and Section 66 of the IT Act against the accused.

Reacting to the FIR, Singh tweeted, “A case has been lodged against me by a troll. A troll who had once said that he will expose the corruption in Information Department, and today he is saying I conspired? It is clear that the child [the complainant] is a pawn and the target is [to] shut down my voice and yours…”

The former civil servant said this was the “height of authoritarianism”. He added, “A case has been lodged against me in connection with Rs 2 per tweet audio…”

On May 13, an FIR was lodged against Singh in Unnao for alleging in a tweet that the state government had “buried 67 bodies on the banks of river Ganga” using earthmovers.

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