[Since this story broke online on Friday, AYUSH minister Shripad Naik responded saying the document is "bogus and fabricated". (File photo)]
New Delhi: The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) on Saturday termed the RTI reply which said 'its Modi government's policy not to recruit Muslims' as 'mischievous misinformation' even as The Milli Gazette stood by its report.
"The ministry is talking about a different RTI filed by the same journalist at about same time, and concerns foreign yoga experts invited to attend the Yoga conference last year while our story talks about Yoga teachers sent out from India", The Milli Gazette said.
The publication has released a tranche of related correspondence online, including the contested Annexure I.
The ministry of Ayush has denied that it had issued the RTI response that Milli Gazette has published. Milli Gazette continues to stand by its story, saying the reporting involved multiple RTI applications and that it will be publishing more information online shortly.
Since this story broke online on Friday, AYUSH minister Shripad Naik responded saying the document is "bogus and fabricated". At the same time, the ministry issued a statement dismissing the RTI reply.
"The Ministry of AYUSH has noted with anguish certain mischievous misinformation being spread on social media about Ministry quoting a reply to an RTI by mentioning a fabricated draft as "ANNEXURE-I" to that letter, which has never been issued by the Ministry of AYUSH or any of its agencies", it said.
"The Ministry strongly condemns this piece of misreporting, clearly aimed at causing chasm between Sections of Society an promoting disharmony, mistrust and planting seeds of discontent with ulterior motive," the Ministry of Ayush added.
The RTI application was filed by journalist Pushp Sharma, who sought to know, how many applied for the short-term assignment abroad for the World Yoga Day.
Replying the RTI application, the AYUSH ministry said that a total number of 3841 Muslims applied for Yoga trainer/teacher jobs in the Ayush ministry, including 711 Muslims who applied for short-term jobs as Yoga teachers/trainers in foreign countries but none was selected.
However, no Muslim was called or invited for the interview saying it is the government's policy not to recruit Muslims, The Milli Gazette claimed.