AAP leader Sanjay Singh sparks controversy over role in caste survey – lucknow

Lucknow


Hours after the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police on Tuesday night registered a first information report (FIR) in Lucknow against unidentified people, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Rajya Sabha (RS) member Sanjay Singh owned up his involvement and sparked yet another row through a tweet.

He accepted his involvement in a caste-based survey on the functioning of the Yogi Adityanath-led government in UP. He singled out the Thakur caste, which the chief minister belongs to.

Earlier, the AAP MP had accused the UP government of being pro-Thakur.

He targeted the UP government for being casteist and tweeted: “Murders of Brahmins and Dalits in UP are not a crime, but a survey whether the Yogi government is casteist is a crime.”

He also had a word of advice for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled dispensation in the country’s most populous state. He suggested that the state government should not waste public money in conducting investigations and instead the police could get in touch with him about the caste-based survey.

The FIR was lodged after many people received automated calls on their mobile phones, asking them to respond to a question whether the UP government has a pronounced pro-Thakur bias.

The FIR was filed under section 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and also the Information Technology Act, 2000, for misuse of electronic communication, a police official said.

Singh is facing probe in multiple FIRs lodged against him for accusing the UP government for favouring the Thakur caste.

In August, nine FIRs were filed in various districts across the state following which the AAP lawmaker had written a letter to RS chairman and Vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu drawing his attention to the matter.

Somen Barma, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Central, Lucknow, said the latest FIR stated that the automated calls were made to hundreds of people, asking them to respond to the question by pressing 1 or 2 on their mobile phone keyboard.

He said the public was also asked two more questions related to castes favoured by various political parties when in power.

A senior police official privy to the investigation said an electronic surveillance team collected call details of the mobile phone numbers used for the caste-based survey.

He said the team was also probing the call generation points and the people behind the survey.



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