“May you have an illustrious tenure, may God bless you, may God bless the Uttar Pradesh (UP) police!” With these words state police chief Vikram Singh handed over the baton to successor Karamvir Singh on Wednesday.
After taking charge as director general, Karamvir Singh, who joined the Indian Police Service in 1975, told HT that his priority would be to sensitise his personnel to people’s problems and deal with anti-social elements with an iron hand.
“Regaining credibility is the key,” he said.
Deeply upset with the inability of the police to control crime, the UP government on Tuesday made the change at the top. Vikram Singh has been appointed director general, home guard, and director, civil defence.
Despite Vikram Singh’s attempts to control crime with his extensive tours, it is the crime factor that proved to be his undoing. In 2009, between January and March alone this was the crime picture in the state: 397 dowry deaths, 358 cases of rape, 638 instances of molestation, 991 kidnappings, 646 cases of eve teasing and 1,584 other forms of atrocities.
Karamvir Singh, who will be the 48th head of the state police, had been serving as Special DG, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Known to be a tough officer, he had supervised the deployment of the CRPF during the 2007 assembly elections, widely hailed as among the most free and fair.
The marathon encounter with dacoit Ghanshyam Kewat, where a lone bandit was able to take on an entire police force for two days, was a major embarrassment for Vikram Singh.
In the 1960s, Justice A.N. Mulla of the Allahabad High Court described the Indian police itself as the most organised criminal gang in the country.