WITH CIVIC election round the corner, several policemen, it seems, have set aside the ‘khaki’ and are pitching in for the ‘khadi’ instead.
They are openly working in support of the candidates of various political parties contesting the civic election. They are even pressuring the voters to support the candidates of their choice.
In Kannauj, the in-charge of a police station not only refused to lodge the FIR of a candidate who was beaten up by his rival but also threatened him with dire consequences if he failed to withdraw the nomination paper.
After receiving a complaint, the State Election Commission (SEC) ordered an inquiry. Later, the SEC directed the superintendent of police of Kannauj to shift the in-charge Ahibaran Singh Yadav and sub inspector Shashi Yadav.
The in- charge of the Kotwali police station at Mughalsarai Ratan Singh Yadav was found working openly in support of the candidate of a particular political party. The policemen on the direction of Yadav harassed the rival candidates. On Sunday, the SEC ordered for removal of Yadav too.
The SEC has directed the DIG Azamagarh range to submit report about the activities of the in-charge of Mohammadabad Gohna police station during the election.
Several candidates complained to the SEC that the police officer was supporting a candidate and even organising his campaign. Using their pressure tactics, the policemen have ensured that the candidate supported by them is elected unopposed.
Several candidates withdrew from the field in Mainpuri, Rampur, Gonda, Lalitpur and Bhadohi district on the direction of the local police officers.
The SEC ordered for the shifting of the in-charge of Gosainganj police station in Lucknow. The officer, Shobran Singh Yadav, was reportedly terrorizing the gram pradhan and was putting pressure on the voters to support the candidate favoured by him. In Lakhimpur Kheri too the SEC ordered for sending some police officers to the police line till the election procedure was over.
The State Election Commission has received 773 complaints from various districts of the state. While 49 complains are regarding violation of the model code of conduct, 60 complaints are against the police and district administration officials. The State Election Commissioner AP Singh said he had directed the district returning officer to ensure that officers and employees did not use their influence in support of any political party or candidates.