UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav seems to have hit the panic button, ostensibly frustrated by the avalanche of criticism he is facing over the rising rape cases in the state.
Under attack over the rape and murder of two Dalit sisters, the Akhilesh government on Saturday suspended Badaun SP, decided to take action against the then district magistrate and undertook a massive rejig, involving 66 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and 42 Indian Police Service (IPS) officers.
In a mass transfer on Saturday, district magistrates of 28 of the 80 districts were replaced. District police chiefs of an equal number of districts were also removed. The IPS officers transferred include four Inspectors General (IGs) and 10 deputy IGS. The CM has also written to the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court to help set up fast-track courts in every district to tackle cases of crime, especially the ones against women.
A government spokesman described the mass transfer as a routine exercise, sources in the bureaucracy said special care had been taken to weed out "recalcitrant officers who did not co-operate with the ruling Samajwadi Party" during the recent Lok Sabha elections. "It's very clear from the transfer lists that DMs and SPs of districts where the SP performed poorly have been identified and shunted out," a senior IAS officer said.
Recently, Akhilesh had abruptly sacked chief secretary Javed Usmani. This was followed by the unceremonious exit of principal secretary (Home) Anil Kumar Gupta, apparently for not being able to handle the law and order situation.