Design: Onmanorama

Has Adityanath levied a special regiment to do his bidding in UP?


Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government has issued a notification for the formation of the Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF).

Fashioned after the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), this new special security force will be tasked with the security of important government buildings, offices and industrial establishments in the state. It will be deployed at places like metro rail, airports, industrial institutions, courts, religious places, banks and other financial institutions.

In his briefing to reporters on Sunday, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said, "The state government has given orders for the constitution of a special security force. A roadmap in this regard has been sought from the UP DGP."

"This is a dream project of the UP chief minister. The basis of this force is an order of the High Court, which had ordered that there should be a specialised force for civil courts. In all, there will be 9,919 personnel in the force," he added.

"Expenses incurred in the first phase will be around Rs 1,747 crore," Awasthi said.

The headquarters of the UPSSF will be in Lucknow and an ADG-level officer will head the force. Initially, five battalions of UPSSF will be formed.

The UPSSF, according to a government statement, will have the powers to search without any warrant. Members of this force can also arrest any person without the orders of a magistrate or a warrant.

This has been questioned by many as critics pointed out these powers could be misused. The fact that private companies too could avail UPSSF's service on payment is also a matter of concern.

The development came following directions of the Allahabad High Court after incidents of violence were reported in the premises of courts in December last year.

On December 18, 2019, the Allahabad High Court had pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government over a shootout at a Bijnor courtroom.

Three assailants had on December 17, 2019, opened fire in the court of the Bijnor chief judicial magistrate, killing a murder accused and injuring three others -- two policemen and a court employee.

The Muzaffarnagar court had witnessed a similar incident in 2015 when an armed man entered the courtroom masquerading as a lawyer and shot dead Vicky Tyagi, an alleged gangster.

Chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council, Darvesh Kumari Yadav, 36, was shot dead by a colleague in her chamber on the civil court premises in Agra on June 13, 2019.

A two-judge HC bench had said then that most incompetent police personnel are being posted at the courts, adding that it will seek the deployment of central forces if the state government is not up to the task.

(With inputs from PTI)