Yogi Adityanath govt removes UP Haj Committee secretary over saffron paint row

On January 13, UP Haj Minister issued a notice to RP Singh seeking clarification on the incident of Lucknow's Haj House painted saffron.

Yogi Adityanath govt removes UP Haj Committee secretary over saffron paint row
ANI photo

NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday removed Haj Committee Secretary RP Singh from his position over the Haj office wall controversy. 

On January 13, the state Haj Minister Mohsin Raja issued a notice to RP Singh seeking clarification on the incident of Lucknow's Haj House painted saffron. On Wednesday, the Yogi Adityanath government too sought a clarification from the UP Haj Committee over the re-painting of its office boundary wall which had been given a saffron coat. 

"The boundary wall of the Haj Committee of UP was given a saffron coat as per the directives of the secretary of Haj Committee of UP. A day later, the colour of the boundary wall was changed. Under which circumstances this was done is not clear. A number of queries came from the media following the change of colour from saffron to another shade. Hence a seven-point notice seeking clarification from the secretary Haj Committee of UP has been issued," Raza said today.

According to the minister, a clarification has been sought as to what are the rules under which the maintenance and painting work of Haj Committee office is done. Another point on which clarity has been sought is on whose orders was the boundary wall was painted for the first time.

"When a saffron coat was already given, then under which circumstances there was a need to change the colour, and on whose orders was the colour changed?" Mohsin has asked in his notice. Another query raised by the minister is "who is responsible for the second coat of paint, and who will bear the cost for the second coat of paint," according to the notice.

The minister also sought details of the tender floated in this regard and the companies involved. He also sought to know that why did the secretary Haj Committee of UP issue a press release. "Whether any written orders were issued to the contractor? According to the press release, action was to be initiated against the contractor. Hence, what action has been initiated against the contractor," Raza asked in the notice.

The UP minister also sought to know that on which date did the secretary of Haj Committee of UP inspect the spot (Haj Committee office). 

The Haj House in Lucknow, used by Muslims as a transit place on their way to pilgrimage in Mecca, was on January 5 was given a saffron coat. The move triggered opposition from various political parties and Darul Uloom. A day later, RP Singh blamed the contractor for the incident. Following this, the boundary wall of Haj House, which was earlier painted saffron, was repainted to its original colour, a day later.

"There was laxity by the contractor in the painting and maintenance work of the UP Haj Committee office. On inspecting the boundary wall of the office, it was found that there has been laxity, and a dark shade of paint has been used contrary to the instructions issued," Singh said.

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