Issuing a long diktat to her bureaucracy on how to deal with crime, communalism and terrorism, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday made it clear that laxity on the part of officials would not be tolerated.
"Don't succumb to pressures from anyone and if such pressures persist, feel free to talk to me directly," Mayawati told a meeting of senior police and administrative officials drawn from different parts of the state.
Among others, the meeting was attended by Mayawati's confidante and state advisory council chairman Satish Chandra Misra, Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, Chief Secretary Atul Kumr Gupta, Principal Home Secretary Kumwar Fateh Bahadur, and Director General of Police Vikram Singh as well as district magistrates from each of the 70 districts of the country's most populous state.
She said: "Be absolutely firm in dealing with terrorism, but do ensure that no innocent person gets nailed under any circumstances."
Taking serious note of the fact that most of the suspects linked to the September 13 New Delhi bombings hailed from Uttar Pradesh, she said: "This has given Uttar Pradesh a very bad name. It is high time we crush terrorism with a heavy hand.
"There is reason to believe that terrorism has grown largely on account of the inherent shortcomings of the administrative machinery. Therefore it is extremely important that officials work objectively and take decisions on merit."
Briefing mediapersons, Principal Information Secretary VS Pandey said: "The chief minister has issued a word of caution that action must be initiated against individuals only after ascertaining facts in order to avoid harassment of the innocent."
She has also sought the inclusion of anti-terrorist measures in the monthly law and order review of all districts.
She also cautioned officials against attempts by mischief mongers to fan communalism on the eve of the coming Lok Sabha elections.
"Watch out against publication and circulation of posters, banners, hand-bills and other such material intended at inciting communal passions," she said.
Emphasising that action should be taken against law breakers solely on merit, she said there was no need for the authorities to do the so-called "balancing act" of arresting equal number of people from both sides after a communal clash.
"Just pick up the real culprits and bring them to book," she stressed.
Even on the routine crime control front, she appeared somewhat dissatisfied.
"No doubt there was some improvement in the handling of crime and law and order in comparison to the previous regime but still much remains to be done," Mayawati pointed out.
Mayawati warned that severe punishment would be meted out to those who ignored these directives.