Umashankar IAS
Youtube screengrab

Umashankar, an IAS officer from Tamil Nadu, was removed from his position as a polling officer in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district after he was accused of performing faith healing among local residents. He practised it despite being warned by senior officials.

One of the reasons for the drastic action by the Election Commission was because the body had asked polling officials to only do election-related work. However, Umashankar, an Evangelist, was also practicing faith healing. The IAS officer had made headlines in 2015 after the central government asked him to not propagate his faith publicly.

He was a Hindu Dalit who converted to Christianity in 2008, reports The Times of India.

According to reports, even after Umashankar was removed from his position, many went to his residence before he left to get healed. 

Villagers in the area first came to know of Umashankar's abilities when he visited a hospital for headache treatment. While he was being checked by the doctors, he began blessing and 'healing' other patients too. When the medical staff came to know of his activities, he was asked to go and rest.

"Last week, the IAS officer had come here for treatment. He was having a headache. Some other patients were also there, and he started giving some blessing or treatment to them. He had done so with only two-three patients when we politely asked him to go and take rest as he was not well. A crowd had started gathering," Dr SB Khare, a doctor at the Sidhi District Hospital, was quoted as saying by TOI.

Umashankar, an IAS officer of the 1990 Tamil Nadu cadre, was removed on Sunday and will be replaced by Chandrakar Bharti.