Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

Agra cops’ transfer too a fallout of saffron outrage?

- Hemendra Chaturvedi hemendra.chaturvedi@hindustant­imes.com

Despite statewide transfers of police officials, the shifting of Agra police chief is being viewed as a fallout of the ‘saffron outrage’ that has been sweeping the city for the past one week.

Meanwhile, BJP district unit president visited the district jail on Thursday and met the Bajrang Dal and VHP activists arrested after ruckus at Fatehpur Sikri and Sadar police station.

On Thursday last, Bajrang Dal and VHP men protested curbs on carrying saffron scarves inside Taj. BJP leaders confined themselves to statements against ASI (which takes care of Taj Mahal) but VHP and Bajrang Dal lodged protest and entered Taj on Saturday despite BJP distancing itself.

The subsequent ruckus at Fatehpur Sikri and Sadar police stations on Saturday brought right wing organisati­ons against the police machinery.

As the BJP again remained aloof, police went on the offensive and arrested 14 Bajrang Dal activists.

Initially, the police talked tough but then BJP leaders met the jailed activists on Tuesday and also approached the IG, Agra Zone, alleging atrocities on the arrested Bajrang Dal activists.

On Wednesday, deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya did a balancing act, assuring activists that no harassment would take place but in the same breath also talked about no setback to police morale.

However, the day ended with transfer of 54 IPS officers state wide, including SSP Agra Dr. Preetinder Singh. Beside this, station incharge of Fatehpur Sikri police station Vinod Kumar was shifted to Firozabad while the station incharge of Sadar police station, Vinay Mishra was shifted as incharge of Shahganj police station in Agra.

District BJP president Shyam Bhadoria termed it a ‘routine transfer’ but added that the party would continue its struggle so that each and every ‘guilty’ police official was brought to book for on activists. Senior police officials also avoided comment on the issue.

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