The Rajasthan government has asked for details of Muslim staff at health centres across the state, the Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.

Rajasthan’s Joint Director (Administration) BL Saini issued a letter on November 30, asking chief medical and health officers of all districts to provide details of Muslim staff at sub centres, primary and community health centres. The letter, which The Indian Express said was sent on November 20 and The Times of India on December 9, said the Central government wanted the data.

The Centre’s letter to the joint director of administration claimed that information about Muslim staff is needed for “the implementation of recommendations of Sachar Committee for the welfare of the minority communities”, reported Hindustan Times that accessed the letter. However, Saini’s letter to medical and health officers does not mention this.

“I have received the letter for details of Muslim personnel but I am unaware about the reason for this exercise,” Churu Chief Medical Health Officer Dr Manoj Sharma told the daily.

All Rajasthan In-service Doctors Association member Dr Nasreen Bharti said doctors feel they are being targeted for their religion. “The government already has information about its staff. Why does it want to know their religion now?,” she asked.

However, Ziley Singh Vical, deputy secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said information on staff from other minority communities was not asked for because the Sachar Committee wanted data only on Muslims. “It’s not unusual, the Centre asks for such data periodically,” he added.

The Sachar Committee was set up by the Manmohan Singh government in 2005 to study the social, economic and educational status of Muslims in India.