Lucknow: A senior IPS officer has been caught on camera endorsing, at a "public oath taking", the construction of a grand Ram Temple at Ayodhya.
In the video, Director General (DG) Home Guards Surya Kumar Shukla can be seen taking the oath with others, including some Muslims.
He can also be heard chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' from the dais.
The video is of a seminar held at the Lucknow University on Sunday (January 28).
It shows the 1982-batch IPS officer -- who was sometime back in the race for the DGP's chair -- happily speaking, along with others on the stage, of the need for the Ram Temple.
Also present at the event was former Urban Development Minister and senior Samajwadi party (SP) leader Mohd Azam Khan.
The officer has, however, said the video was "mischief" and should not be taken as anything more. "All I was doing there was participating in a seminar held in good faith to discuss with Muslims and Hindus a way for the construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya," he said on Friday.
Congress Spokesman Subodh Srivastava has said that this was a clear violation of the service rules that govern Shukla and demanded that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath take disciplinary action against him. State Spokesman of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Vaibhav Maheshwari said it was shameful that in a secular country a senior police officer such as Shukla was behaving like this.
"The government and the courts should take note of this immediately and terminate Shukla," he demanded. The Ayodhya dispute is centred on a plot of land in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya to which both Hindus and Muslims claim stake.