Police Chief shunted out; Yogi Adityanath’s law and order reshuffle in UP

Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh, S Javeed Ahmed
Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh, S Javeed Ahmed

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday shunted out S Javeed Ahmed, replacing him with the state’s senior-most police officer Sulkhan Singh just a year after he was appointed as Uttar Pradesh‘s police chief.

Mr Ahmed, who superseded nearly a dozen police officers when he was appointed by the Akhilesh Yadav government in January last year, has been made head of the state’s armed constabulary, or the PAC. Mr Singh, who is four years senior to his much younger predecessor, was one of them. He had to settle as head of the police’s training.

Friday’s reshuffle was the third by the 44-year-old Chief Minister who took charge of the country’s most populous state last month. He had pledged not to carry out large-scale changes in the bureaucracy. But Yogi Adityanath had made it clear that officials should not expect to be undisturbed if their performance didn’t quite match his expectations.

In all, he has transferred about 80 officers so far. As part of Friday’s reshuffle, Daljit Singh Chowdhury, who headed the Law and Order Wing and Aditya Mishra who led the state’s Economic Offence Wing have been ordered to swap places.

Mr Ahmed’s transfer was expected in the state’s police circles, given how the BJP had vociferously opposed his appointment in 2016. Ahead of the assembly elections too, the party had petitioned the Election Commission to shift out the officer for allegedly working at the behest of the then Samajwadi Party government.

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But unless Mr Singh gets an extension, he may only have just about five months in the top post before the state government has to look for his replacement.

Hours before the reshuffle, the Chief Minister had signalled that he was not exactly impressed with the performance of the state police. He told police officers that they would need to change their working style to make the common people feel secure. He also expressed unhappiness at the performance of its anti-corruption wing and ordered its reorganisation.

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