The Allahabad high court on Monday issued notice to Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan on a petition filed by policemen belonging to the Jat community who alleged they were transferred out of Muzaffarnagar after the recent communal clashes in that district upon his "orders".
Justice Sudhir Agrawal also stayed the impugned transfers "provided they have not already joined at the transferred place" and that the authorities concerned shall, in the meantime, "ensure payment of their salary at Muzaffarnagar but it will be open to them to take work or not".
The order was passed on the petition of Pankaj Kumar and 6 others, all of them constables or head constables, who were transferred to "far-off" places like "Chitrakoot, Basti, Banda, Hamirpur and Pratapgarh".
The petitioners have alleged that following the riots, "police personnel of a particular community (Jat)" were being shifted "from western part of UP to other places like eastern side or Bundelkhand" and that this was being done "following the directions/orders" issued by Khan, who has been named in the petition.
Fixing October 10 as the next date of hearing in the matter, the court sought counter-affidavits from Khan as well as the state's chief standing counsel.
The court also wanted an affidavit "filed by an officer of not below the rank of deputy inspector general of police" stating the reasons for the aforesaid transfers.