This Article is From Apr 27, 2017

Tucked In Biggest Reshuffle, Yogi Adityanath's Solution To Cop-Lawmaker Row

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday ordered transfers of nearly 140 officials.

Highlights

  • Yogi Adityanath orders transfer of nearly 140 officials
  • Love Kumar, the cop injured in Saharanpur violence also transferred
  • The officer had dispersed procession by BJP lawmaker Raghav Lakhanpal
New Delhi: Carrying out his biggest bureaucratic reshuffle over the last five weeks, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday ordered transfers of nearly 140 officials bringing in new faces to take charge as collectors and police chiefs in over two dozen of the state's 75 districts.

One of them was Love Kumar, the Senior Superintendent of Police of Saharanpur district, who stood his ground and dispersed a procession backed by BJP lawmaker Raghav Lakhanpal that led to violence. At an impromptu protest at Mr Kumar's residence, Mr Lakhanpal - who was later named in two police cases for rioting - called Mr Kumar "naalayak" (worthless) and put his prestige at stake when he declared that the SSP would be removed.

An attack on the SSP's house, his scared kids and wife at home, which preceded the Lok Sabha member's speech had drawn criticism from the Central IPS Association in Delhi that called the incident "unfortunate". "It demoralises officer, traumatises family. Hope government upholds morale of police," the association had tweeted.

But the lawmaker told NDTV that there was no need for him to apologise. The BJP leader's only regret, he said, was that "we have such a bad local district administration".

Less than a week later, the Yogi Adityanath government appeared to have acted on his assessment. It is a decision that is bound to send its own message to the bureaucracy.

The government transferred not only Mr Kumar, but also Saharanpur's District Magistrate Shafakat Kamal who was seen to have gone along with the police officer's assessment. While Mr Kamal has been appointed as a special secretary in the state's rural development department, Mr Kumar has been appointed as the police chief of Gautam Budh Nagar that comprises Greater Noida, one of the state's key industrial hub.

But by giving the 38-year-old police officer an assignment counted as a prize posting in Uttar Pradesh administration, the government has attempted to signal that Mr Kumar was not being punished for doing his job well. Mr Kumar was appointed as Saharanpur SSP just three months earlier by the Election Commission in the run-up to the UP assembly polls after complaints that his predecessor was too close to the ruling Samajwadi Party.