The National Human Rights Commission issued a notice to the Rajasthan government on Wednesday in connection with the “I am poor” graffiti on the houses of 50,000 poor families in Dausa district. The notice has been issued to the chief secretary, asking for a reply within four weeks along with a detailed report of actions taken, according to The Hindu.

In its notice, the NHRC said that it would amount to violation of the Right to Dignity if the reports of such graffiti were found to be true. “No civilized society would ever appreciate such an imprudent and irrational act of the state authorities,” read the notice, according to ANI.

The commission took suo motu cognisance of the matter. The incident had come to light on June 22 when walls of more than 50,000 homes across the district had the “I am poor” message painted on it. The message also said that the residents of these houses received food grain from the government at a subsidised rate.

Nearly 70% of the families in Dausa are beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act. The welfare scheme was introduced by the previous Congress-led government, and under it, beneficiaries are entitled to 10 kg of grain at a discounted price.

Rajasthan government officials had defended the graffiti and said it was aimed at stopping middlemen from buying subsidised rations and ensuring that these do not go to rich families. “The ruling government has taken this initiative for the backward class,” an official had said. However, Dausa Additional Collector KC Sharma had said that the zilla parishad may have issued the directive as there were complaints of misuse of the Food Security Act.