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U.P. govt. spying on me, alleges ex-IAS officer who questioned COVID-19 testing

Earlier, he was slapped with an FIR over ‘No test=No Corona’ tweet

Days after he was booked for questioning the Uttar Pradesh government’s senior-most bureaucrat for allegedly admonishing officials seeking more COVID-19 testing, retired IAS officer Surya Pratap Singh on Sunday said intelligence department officials in plainclothes were keeping a close tab on him and those he was meeting.

Taking to Twitter, Mr. Singh advised the U.P. government to not waste taxpayers’ money by deploying Local Intelligence Unit officials for his surveillance as well of those he mingled with.

“If you want, I can send you CCTV footage of an entire week. You probably forget that I have also been an IPS [officer],” Mr. Singh said. The retired official, who had opted for VRS four years ago, however, did not elaborate on this.

On June 10, Mr. Singh, who is not new to confrontation with the State government, posted a tweet, in which he questioned the testing policy of U.P. government for COVID-19. He asked the U.P. Chief Secretary to respond whether he had reprimanded some District Magistrates during a meeting for seeking more tests for the disease. “UP’s strategy: No test=No Corona,” Mr. Singh had tweeted.

Following this, Lucknow police lodged a case against him at Hazratganj under Sections 188, 505(1) (b) and 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant clauses of the Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act. His tweet, allegedly based on incorrect information, had created a “sense of fear” among the public during the pandemic, the FIR said.

No clarity on testing

Mr. Singh, however, remained firm and said he would continue to ask questions of the government. “54 transfers in 25 years could not change my good intentions and policies, so what is an FIR,” said Mr. Singh.

In a series of tweets and a video message since the FIR, he also said that there was no clarity from the U.P. government on the number of samples being tested daily for COVID-19.

“How many tests are being done in U.P. daily, there is no clarity as there are differing statements coming in,” he said.

He also asked why was the State government not testing enough migrant workers despite Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath having recently claimed, without any evidence or follow-up, that 75% of migrants who returned from Maharashtra and 50% from Delhi were infected.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 8:14:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/up-govt-spying-on-me-alleges-ex-ias-officer-who-questioned-covid-19-testing/article31829236.ece

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