TN IAS officer Umashankar removed as poll observer in MP for 'faith-healing'?

The officer, a staunch follower of Jesus, has been in trouble before too for his preaching and healing activities.
TN IAS officer Umashankar removed as poll observer in MP for 'faith-healing'?
TN IAS officer Umashankar removed as poll observer in MP for 'faith-healing'?
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A senior bureaucrat of the Tamil Nadu cadre has been removed as poll observer in the state of Madhya Pradesh after reports of his ‘faith-healing’ activities emerged. C Umashankar, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service was removed on Monday from electoral duty at the Sidhi constituency in Madhya Pradesh. According to reports, the state Election Commission had warned him against conducting such activities.

The move was reportedly sparked by the bureaucrat recently visiting the district hospital in the region where he had gone to treat himself for a headache but had indulged in healing activities of other patients. A complaint had reportedly been received after he allegedly took on visitors who sought his healing services. However, sources in the know tell TNM that the officer was not officially informed of the reason for his dismissal.

“There are publicly available videos of Umashankar preaching, he does not hide it. The Election Commission has taken the decision based on reports. No explanation was sought from the IAS officer.” says one source close to the development.

C Umashankar, a 1990 batch officer, though born as a Hindu Dalit, converted to Christianity in 2008. Known for his impressive record as a bureaucrat and for being a whistleblower, he later grabbed headlines for his controversial views about natural calamities, often calling it god's wrath on people. He has also been accused of denigrating Hinduism, while propogating Christianity. Read details here.

This is not the first time, however, that Umashankar is being pulled up over this issue. The bureaucrat, whose healing videos are posted to a popular page called DayofLord Jesus on YouTube, was warned by the Tamil Nadu government against taking part in prayer meetings. In 2015, the TN government had restricted him from preaching and propagating religion, which could create communal tensions. This after a group of people attacked him in Kanyakumari, alleging that he was trying to convert people in a gathering to Christianity. The bureaucrat, who is popular for his ‘healing’ of ailments, has previously denied that he was a quack, stating that he did not take money or offerings.

While Umashankar himself has asserted that following Jesus Christ is a personal choice protected by his fundamental right, opinions have been divided on whether a serving IAS officer is allowed to preach.

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