Poor law and order in the State, with illegal confinement of a minor girl being the last straw

With no improvement in the law and order situation in the State and the image of the police taking a beating, particularly after the illegal confinement of a minor girl in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has removed the Director General of Police, Ambrish Chandra Sharma. Mr. Sharma’s transfer order was issued late on Friday night, ending a daylong speculation about the fate of the officer.

Mr. Sharma has been replaced by the DG of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), Dev Raj Nagar. An IPS officer of the 1976 batch, Mr. Nagar before his appointment as the new State police chief, had also held the charge of Chairman of the Police Recruitment Board. The outgoing DGP has swapped places with the new incumbent and will now be the DG, PAC.

No official explanation has been given for the sudden ouster of Mr. Sharma, who had been appointed the DG Police in March 2012 following the formation of the Samajwadi Party government. Mr. Sharma is understood to have paid the price for the poor law and order and crime situation in the State. In addition to the 28 incidents of communal violence in the last one year of the Akhilesh Yadav government, the killing of Deputy Superintendent of Police Zia-ul-Haque in Balipur village of Pratapgarh district on March 2 who had been abandoned by his colleagues had cast the police in a poor light.

More importantly, the image of the police had suffered a severe beating in the recent past with the illegal confinement of a 10-year old girl in a police lockup in Bulandshahr and the Supreme Court rap causing embarrassment to the government.

Incidentally, the government, which has been served a notice by the apex court in the case, has to submit its reply on Monday.