Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Tuesday said that action could be taken against the District Magistrate of Bareilly, Raghvendra Vikram Singh, for commenting on social media that it has become a “trend” for people to forcefully “enter Muslim-dominated localities, raise anti-Pakistan slogans and then create ruckus”, the Hindustan Times reported.

“He appeared to be making a statement like a party spokesman despite the fact that government servants are bound by rules,” Maurya said.

Singh made the comment on a Facebook post on Sunday, The Times of India reported. He was referring to the communal clashes in Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj (pictured above), where one person was killed, and property and vehicles were set on fire on Republic Day. The clashes broke out after residents of the Muslim-dominated locality of Baddu Nagar in Kasganj arranged chairs on the road and were getting ready to unfurl the tricolour, and workers of Hindutva outfits reached the area and allegedly demanded that the chairs be removed to make way for their bikes.

Two days after the clashes, the district magistrate wrote on Facebook: “Ajab rivaz ban gaya hai. Muslim mohallo me jabrdasti julus le jao aur Pakistan murdabad ke nare lagao. Kyon bhai, ve Pakistani hain kya? [There is this strange trend of late. Take out processions by force through Muslim dominated localities and raise anti-Pakistan slogans. Why? Are these people Pakistani?].”

In another post, Singh asked why people never raise slogans against China, which is “a bigger enemy”.

However, Singh’s posts were not available on his Facebook profile on Tuesday morning. Speaking to The Times of India, Singh said he was angry about what was happening “in the name of nationalism”.

To the Hindustan Times, Singh said: “It was a small incident, but see how big its implications were,” referring to how the superintendent of police of Kasganj was transferred and that the people had questioned the work of the district magistrate. “These incidents affect the ongoing developmental work,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh’s Finance Minister and Bareilly City MLA Rajesh Agarwal backed Singh. “I have not read the comment posted by DM Bareilly yet,” he told the Hindustan Times. “But considering he is a former Army officer, I can say he will never say anything against our country or in favour of Pakistan.”