Senior IPS officer Amitabh Thakur, suspended by the Uttar Pradesh government after he took his fight with Mulayam Singh Yadav to the Central government, is no stranger to controversies and has been transferred 30 times since joining service.
Thakur, 47, shot to the limelight recently after he filed a complaint with police about the Samajwadi Party chief allegedly threatening him during a phone conversation. This was followed by a charge of rape being filed against Thakur in Lucknow and his suspension on Monday.
Born at Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Thakur’s mother would say that he was “very God-fearing”. As a student in Bokaro, Thakur was known to distribute the sweets that he got from school on Independence Day and Republic Day to poor children.
Now, several decades, numerous PILs, and several run-ins with the powers-that-be later, the IPS officer of the 1992 batch from the Uttar Pradesh cadre finds himself battling the rape charge and the state government.
Hours after Thakur sought the Union home ministry’s intervention on Monday to get a CBI probe ordered into the rape charge against him, he was suspended by the Uttar Pradesh government for “indiscipline, holding anti-government views, dereliction of duty and violating service rules”, a state home department officer said.
The officer also alleged Thakur had misused state government resources and given incomplete information about his assets in his annual declaration of property.
Though there have been allegations that he may be hobnobbing with the BJP, Thakur hasn’t made many friends in politics.
“The hounding of an IPS officer could well be one more instance of jungle raj in Uttar Pradesh but the fact remains that Thakur is no saint either. In fact, instead of concentrating on his work, he and his wife have been busy indulging in PILs and blackmail,” alleged Bahujan Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya.
Controversies have always followed Thakur through his career, which began in 1992 and has seen him get transferred 30 times.
Recently, social activist Sanjay Sharma said he had written to Governor Ram Naik to order a probe into Thakur’s “huge wealth”. Sharma alleged that Thakur and his wife Nutan had 10 properties in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, including a “high income group” house at Viramkhand in Gomati Nagar, a plot in Khargapur and a plot of 5,000 sq ft in Ujariyaon.
Sharma claimed the couple mentioned in their official records that they earned about Rs 2.88 lakh annually from the properties but later changed their statements filed with authorities.
“Later, they said they owned just two properties,” said Sharma.
Thakur was first suspended while he was posted as the superintendent of police (SP) at Gonda in 2005 and then as SP in Ferozabad in 2006. The third suspension order came late on Monday.
While posted in Gonda, Thakur was suspended for allegedly issuing an arms licence to criminal elements, a charge he countered by saying that as the SP, he cleared files that were already vetted by other officers and the district administration.
Thakur took the line that if he was guilty, so was the then district magistrate.
In 2006, Thakur was allegedly attacked by Samajwadi Party legislator Ramvir Singh Yadav and his supporters, who reportedly beat up the officer at Paidath village in Firozabad. The matter became known as the “Jasrana incident” and Ramvir and the others were cleared after several witnesses backtracked.
“Jasrana saw me becoming an activist as prior to that I was a normal police officer,” Thakur told Hindustan Times.
The alumnus of IIT-Kanpur and IIM-Lucknow also was one of the founder members of the National RTI forum that was created as part of efforts to highlight corruption within the government.
Thakur, who was directly promoted from the rank of SP to IG as his promotion as DIG was held up due to alleged inquiries, once said in an interview that the numerous transfers in his career were meant to reduce “an officer to a pawn”.
“I had joined the IPS because I wanted to transform the society. I don't know how far I have succeeded. I tell my subordinates to be upright. But so many transfers make working difficult,” he had said.
Read:UP cop Thakur suspended for taking fight against Mulayam to Centre