Tight rope walk for the new SSP

Published on Jan 22, 2006 12:51 AM IST

Allahabad is a strange place. SSPs find it hard to have a reasonable length of tenure here. It is not only a politically and intellectually sensitive city, but the common people also don't take injustice lying down. It is the balance between the three besides a good rapport with the right minded immediate subordinates which the new SSP Vijay Singh Meena will have to maintain in a bid to survive here for long.

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HT Image
None | ByBK Singh, Allahabad

Allahabad is a strange place. SSPs find it hard to have a reasonable length of tenure here. It is not only a politically and intellectually sensitive city, but the common people also don't take injustice lying down. It is the balance between the three besides a good rapport with the right minded immediate subordinates which the new SSP Vijay Singh Meena will have to maintain in a bid to survive here for long.

Too much of political alignment also proves disastrous like it did in the event of Raju Pal and Kamlesh Yadav's murder. Former SSP SK Gupta became a victim of the same.

It all began with the murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal, the aftermath of which was greatly mishandled by the cops who were seen blatantly supporting one political party.

The result was before us. People went berserk, indulged in arson and rioting caring too hoots for the cop with the baton. At some places they even fought pitched battles with the men in uniform.

Then recently after the Kamlesh Yadav (AU student leader) murder case cops allowed members of one political party to have their way. As a result they too pooh-poohed the rule of law and torched vehicles and property. Men in uniform remained a mute spectators.

In both cases police earned brickbats not accolades from all sections of the society, except a handful of men in politics. The murder also saw Gupta's exit even though he was considered quite close to the corridors of power. Then he lacked rapport with his immediate subordinates.

Many of them openly criticised him and his style of functioning.

The mishandling of the situation was seen at its nadir during the agitation of lawyers on the day CM visited the city last. Lawyers, who are considered intellectuals, lost their cool after being roughed up by some cops who wanted them to change their route to the High Court under part of traffic regulation.

Angered over the police misbehaviour the 'men in black' alleged that they were stopped from discharging their duty as court officers by the police which had reportedly not given them any prior notice.

The situation could still have been saved from going out of hands in case some responsible police officer had made timely attempt to assuage the hurt feelings of the lawyer community, says a police officer. It is this legacy which Meena has inherited and hence will have to tread with caution, opined a retired police officer.

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