Ever since Yogi Adityanath took charge as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, there has been a major reshuffle within the state police department. Ostensibly, the exercise is being seen as an attempt to revamp the police set-up as the CM is insistent on curbing crime. However, the state government’s decision to transfer a lady cop who took on local BJP leaders for violating traffic rules raised several eyebrows, while the shunted officer received widespread acclaim on social media for her bravado and sense of duty.
On Saturday, the Uttar Pradesh police transferred DSP Shrestha Thakur, less than a fortnight after a video of her chiding local BJP leaders went viral on social media. Thakur, who was among 244 Deputy Superintendents of Police, was posted as circle officer at Syana in Bulandshahr district. In the video, she is seen confronting BJP city president Mukesh Bhardwaj and other party workers. A verbal spat broke out between them after the police fined BJP worker Pramod Kumar for riding a motorcycle “without any documents, number plate and helmet.”
Reflecting on her transfer, Thakur posted a brief message on her Facebook account. “Got transfer to Bahraich, it’s Nepal border, don’t worry my friends I am happy…. I accept it as a reward for my good work…. u all are invited to bahraich(sic),” she wrote, along with an Urdu couplet: “Jahan bhi jayega roshni lutayega, kisi charagh ka apna makan nahi hota (A lamp does not have a house. It spreads light wherever it goes).”
This is not the first time when police officers who took stern action against BJP leaders have been transferred under the present government. Earlier in April, Saharanpur SSP Love Kumar and Agra SSP Pritinder Singh were also transferred after their stringent action against BJP leaders and workers of RSS affiliates such as the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad for their alleged involvement in major incidents of hooliganism in the two districts.
These officers were also transferred after a delegation of party MPs and MLAs from western UP met Yogi Adityanath and complained against the two top cops, reported the Wire. Kumar had booked BJP members including local MP Raghav Lakhanpal for allegedly taking out an illegal procession through a communally sensitive area in Saharanpur. According to a report in The Wire, Lakhanpal had allegedly instigated a mob of BJP workers to attack the officer’s house and to engage in rioting and destruction of public and private properties in Saharanpur.
Similarly, Agra SSP Pritinder Singh caught the ire of BJP leaders for taking action against Hindutva leaders and activists. The officer had booked senior RSS leaders and hundreds of Bajrang Dal and VHP workers after a large mob attacked Sadar Bazaar police station and assaulted policemen on April 22. According to reports, they had barged into the police station and tried to open the gates of the lock-up to release five Bajrang Dal workers who were arrested on charges of assaulting Muslim grocery shop owners. They also allegedly set ablaze a police vehicle on fire, demanding that the FIR against the arrested men be withdrawn.