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IAS Officer Niyaz Khan Served Show-Cause Notice Over ‘The Kashmir Files’ Tweet

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister, Narottam Mishra, had said that Niyaz Khan was crossing the limits (Lakshman Rekha).

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The Madhya Pradesh government on Thursday, 24 March, issued a show-cause notice to IAS officer Niyaz Khan, stating that his tweets about the film The Kashmir Files amounted to spreading hatred and also violated service rules.

Khan, a deputy secretary with the state Public Works Department (PWD), confirmed to PTI that he had received the notice and said he was supposed to reply to it in seven days.

He had said last week that makers of The Kashmir Files should also make a film about the “killings of large number of Muslims across several states” in India.

"The Kashmir Files shows the pain of Brahmins. They should be allowed to live safely in Kashmir with honour. The producer must also make a movie to show the killings of a large number of Muslims across several states. Muslims are not insects but human beings and citizens of [the] country," he had tweeted, prompting strong opposition from the government in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state.

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Director Vivek Agnihotri's The Kashmir Files, which focuses on the events surrounding the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits between the late 1980s and early 1990s, has triggered a myriad of responses, including anti-Muslim hate speeches and sloganeering in theatres.

Khan had also appealed to the producer of the film to donate the earnings from the film for the education of the children of Kashmiri Pandits and construction of homes for them in Kashmir.

Accusation of Fanning 'Anarchy, Animosity'

Speaking to media on 23 March, the state's Home Minister, Narottam Mishra, had said that he (Niyaz Khan) was crossing the limits (Lakshman Rekha) and that a show-cause notice would be served on him.

Earlier, responding to Khan's tweet, the state's Medical Education Minister, Vishvas Sarang, had accused him of 'Firqa Parasti' (sectarianism), adding that he should be removed from the PWD.

"Any administrative officer should concentrate on his duty. Talking about anarchy and animosity in this way, talking about Hindu-Muslim in this way, their thinking behind the scenes trying to establish themselves among a class of people not good," he had said.

To that, Khan told The Quint,

"The BJP doesn't like me – and the only reason is my name. In the last 14-15 years, I have been transferred nearly 20 times, just because of my surname. I have suffered on-field, off-field, in promotions. I have suffered a lot not because my surname is bad or wrong, but because they hate this name."

However, he added, "I would again reiterate that I did nothing wrong. I just talked about the condition of Muslims and their treatment in our country – and that's my right. I am just putting forward my opinion and I am constitutionally entitled to it."

(With inputs from PTI.)

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