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What’s behind delay in choosing new UP police chief?

What’s behind the unprecedented delay in appointment of a new DGP in Uttar Pradesh after Sulkhan Singh retired on December 31?

lucknow Updated: Jan 16, 2018 16:08 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
UP police chief,DGP,Lucknow

What’s behind the unprecedented delay in appointment of a new DGP in Uttar Pradesh after Sulkhan Singh retired on December 31?

It’s a question that has puzzled both senior and retired police officials, many of whom suspect that the BJP government under advice from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is now mulling a fresh review of names to shortlist the new head of the country’s largest police force.

The Yogi Adityanath government had initially requested the centre to relieve present DG CISF OP Singh, a request that clearly indicated the UP government’s intention of appointing the 1983 batch IPS as UP DGP.

But that was 15 days back. In the period, the appointments committee of the cabinet (ACC) has approved the premature repatriation of Devendra Chaudhry, a 1981 batch IAS, to his parent cadre. But on Singh’s name ACC is yet to take a call, reason why there is a buzz about a possible rethink on Singh’s name for the DGP’s post.

“Of course, there is something. Nothing else explains this unusual delay,” a senior police officer said.

A vastly experienced Singh having served as district police chief in Almora (now Uttarakhand), Bulandshahr, Lucknow, Allahabad and Moradabad has a rather unblemished record and is even credited for brokering peace agreement between Shias and Sunnis in Lucknow in 1998.

However, police officers, both serving and retired, are of the view that OP Singh’s tenure as SSP Lucknow when the June 2, 1995 guest house incident played out in the state capital could have delayed things.

Back then, the Samajwadi Party workers had targeted the BSP chief Mayawati who was present at the state guest house in Meera Bai Marg. Mayawati, a Dalit politician, was rescued by the BJP. “BJP and RSS leadership could be wary of Mayawati trying to paint the party as anti-Dalit if Singh becomes the DGP. That appears to be the only reason that could possibly block Singh’s appointment,” a police officer said.

First Published: Jan 16, 2018 16:08 IST