Akhilesh accuses BJP of deploying U.P. officials for ‘political work’

Samajwadi Party chief says this was why no action was taking against them for wrongdoing

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Friday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh was deploying administrative officials and police officers for “political work” to help it win elections, and this was the reason why no action was taken against them in cases of wrongdoing or criminal allegations against them.

These police officers and officials were speaking the language of the ruling party, he stated.

Mr. Yadav’s attack against the government and its officials came in the context of the alleged murder of a Kanpur trader in a hotel in Gorakhpur by policemen who had gone to his room reportedly for checking. Six policemen were suspended while a murder case was lodged against three after the trader Manish Gupta’s wife alleged that the policemen thrashed him for no reason, leading to his death due to head injuries. The role of the senior officials was also under scrutiny after a video surfaced in which the District Magistrate and police chief of Gorakhpur were allegedly trying to convince the trader’s wife to not lodge an FIR in the case.

“When you take political work from the administration, when they get involved in an incident, how can you take action against them?” Mr. Yadav asked here at a press conference where he inducted several leaders into his party.

Mr. Yadav accused the BJP government of misusing the administration to turn the results in the rural body polls in favour of the ruling party.

“The language of the BJP — the same language is being used by the officials. The officials have never lied as much as they have now under pressure from the BJP,” Mr. Yadav said.

The SP chief targeted U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his claim that his government had a “zero tolerance policy” against crime and asked if he would order the use of bulldozers to demolish the property of police personnel absconding after facing allegations of crime.

Without taking any names, Mr. Yadav referred to the case of suspended IPS officer Manilal Patidar, who has been absconding since last September after being accused in the alleged murder or abetment of suicide case of a businessman in Mahoba. Mr. Patidar was then the district police chief.

The family of Mahoba businessman Indrakant Tripathi — who died last September after being found shot in his car days after he had accused the 2014-batch IPS officer of threatening to eliminate him — had lodged an FIR against Mr. Patidar alleging murder and conspiracy. However, following a probe by a Special Investigation Team, the charges were downgraded to abetment to suicide. Mr. Patidar, meanwhile, continued to evade arrest and his pleas for anticipatory bail were rejected by the Allahabad High Court.

In May, the HC directed the agency investigating the cases against Mr. Patidar to file an affidavit explaining what efforts were made by them to arrest him after tracing his whereabouts when his anticipatory bail applications were rejected. However, he is yet to be arrested still.

“Have you heard of an IPS officer absconding? In U.P., an IPS officer is absconding and the government is talking of zero tolerance,” said Mr. Yadav. “They are not absconding. They are made to abscond by the government,” he said, accusing the government of protecting tainted police officers.

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