New Delhi, Feb 2: UP Home Guard’s director general Surya Kumar Shukla courted a controversy with his statement in a video in which he is seen taking a pledge to build Ram temple in Ayodhya at the earliest. The video of the IPS officer, shot at Lucknow University, went viral on social media on Friday. Other people are also being seen taking the similar pledge in the clip. [Also read: Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir Dispute: Timeline of Ayodhya Case] Also Read - 'Historical Mistake' Corrected With Demolition of Babri Masjid: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar

“We Ram-bhakts, today, as part of this programme, take this pledge that at the earliest, the Ram Mandir be constructed. Jai Shri Ram,” the video showed Shukla saying. However, he defended his statement. He added that media misinterpreted the video. [Also read: Congress Must Clarify Its Stand on Ram Janmabhoomi Issue, Says BJP President Amit Shah] Also Read - Here's the Cheque But...: Digvijaya Singh Donates Rs 1.11 Lakh For Ram Temple With One Condition

“I was taking a pledge to create an atmosphere of harmony. The video that has gone viral is an edited version and portions have been deleted deliberately to create mischief. It is misinterpretation… The matter related more to creating a peaceful environment for the construction of the temple rather than construction itself,” he said. [Also read: Only Ram Mandir Will be Built at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, Says Mohan Bhagwat] Also Read - Akshay Kumar Urges All to Contribute to Ram Mandir-Construction Months After Announcing His Film 'Ram Setu'

Shukla added the event at the university also had a discussion on the possible ways to solve the three decades old issue. He said, “there was a discussion at the programme that if Hindus and Muslims talk of temple construction in Ayodhya and a mosque at a distance from there, then the dispute will end.”

Commenting on the issue, Samajwadi Party said Shukla’s conduct violated the police rules by taking such pledge.”Shukla is a public servant, and he is not supposed to take such a pledge at a public function,” PTI quoted SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary as saying. [Also read: Ram Temple Issue: Mughal Descendent Welcomes Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Mediation Proposal]