Mahatma Gandhi’s photo on toilet walls in UP village

As per the recent report, A rural development officer named ‘Santosh Kumar’ has been suspended and a notice served to the chief of ‘Ichhwari village’ in Uttar Pradesh (UP) after toilets built under the ‘Swachh Bharat campaign’ were found plastered with wall tiles bearing Mahatma Gandhi’s images.

“These tiles were set up on the orders of the village head. When we complained against it, we were told not to interfere as it was a decision of the higher authorities,” a villager, ANI reported.

Notably, The villagers protested after a video of the toilets was leaked on various social media platforms on June 5. According to the villagers, these tiles were used on the orders of the village head named Savitri Devi.

According to a resident, “When we complained against it, we were told not to interfere as it was a decision of the higher authorities. It was only when the video clip was put up on the social media that action was taken,”.

Meanwhile, Mr Jagdish Kumar, a villager, stated, “This is a criminal act on the part of government officials who plastered Gandhiji’s image on a toilet wall. This kind of ill-treatment meted out to the ‘Father of the Nation’ cannot be tolerated at any cost. We want an inquiry into the matter and immediate termination of the officials involved.”

While District panchayati raj officer (DPRO) Bulandshahr Mr Amarjeet Singh stated that, “In Ichhawali village, 508 toilets under Swachhta Mission were built recently. Out of these 13 were found to be installed with locally purchased tiles which had Mahatma Gandhi’s photo along with the national symbol.

The moment this matter came to our notice we quickly got it removed and placed rural development officer Santosh Kumar under suspension with immediate effect. Besides, block pramukh has been served a notice, apart from village pradhan.” TOI reported.

In 2018, Madhya Pradesh HC had directed the state government to remove the images of PM Narendra Modi and the then CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the tiles placed in houses constructed under ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’.

In the recent year, District officials has found ‘13 toilets’ built in the village had tiles with Gandhi’s image and Ashok Chakra on the walls. And 508 toilets were built under Swachh Bharat campaign in this village. Importantly, the district administration has seized all accounts operated by the village head and the concerned officials have been asked to take action against the officers involved.

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