Lucknow, 12 April: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today removed the Director General of Police Ambrish C Sharma. Sharma has been replaced by Dev Raj Nagar who was earlier DG (PAC). Sharma has been posted as the DG Home Guard, the state armed police constabulary. Principal Secretary RM Srivastava is likely to be shifted soon.
Removal of the DGP is seen as a pre-emptive move of the state government before filing affidavit in the Supreme Court over illegal confinement of a teenage Dalit girl, an alleged rape victim who was kept in a woman’s cell in Bulandshahar district. The Supreme Court taking suo motto cognisance of the incident had issued notice to UP government asking to file the report on Monday, 15 April. State government has suspended the two women police constables.
Removal of the DGP who was a confident of the Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh is seen in corridors of power as an assertion of authority by the fledgling young Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Akhilesh has constantly drawn flak from the opposition for being a weak CM who was unable to work due to the multiple centers of power in the government and the party. Opposition parties have consistently targeted the SP government on law and order issues.
In early March, a DSP officer was shot dead in Kunda in Pratapgarh district. Akhilesh Yadav had then asked the Jail Minister Raja Bhaiyya, an MLA from Kunda to resign and recommended the center for probe by the CBI.
In a SP meeting on 3 April, the DGP AC Sharma and Principal Secretary (Home) RM Srivastava were targets of attack. SP MLAs almost unanimously charged that both people were incompetent to the task of managing law and order in Uttar Pradesh. The MLAs complained that there has been no improvement in law and order after change of regime in March 2012. Some legislators said that the previous BSP regime was better and in peoples’ perception, overall image of SP has nosedived in the last year.
Law and order situation in UP including the communal riots, murder of DSP officer continues to be the achilles’ heel of Akhilesh Yadav. It started from day one of his government and continues to embarrass now.
SP sources said that many more heads are likely to roll soon. “CM has done enough of persuasions and warnings to the bureaucrats and police; now he means business, and the next Parliament Elections are not far away. We have no option but to act hard if we have to win the peoples’ trust in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections,” said a senior Minister.