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March 2, 2024

Former DGP Reveals: CM’s Approval of Commissionerate System in U.P. Amplified Policing Powers Amidst Anti-CAA Protests

In a revealing account of Uttar Pradesh’s tumultuous political landscape, former State Director General of Police (DGP) O.P. Singh sheds light on the implementation of the commissioner system, a pivotal decision made by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the wake of anti-CAA protests that rocked the state in 2019.

The commissionerate system, approved by CM Yogi Adityanath, bestowed magisterial powers upon the police, marking a significant departure from the previous dual system where police powers were shared with the district magistrate. This move aimed to streamline law enforcement and enhance accountability by placing the police chief directly under the purview of the state government.

According to Singh’s memoir, the decision to introduce the commissionerate system came on the heels of widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which erupted in Uttar Pradesh following its passage by the Parliament on December 9, 2019. The unrest resulted in the tragic loss of 22 lives within the state, while nationwide protests claimed the lives of 83 individuals, underscoring the gravity of the situation.

During Singh’s tenure as the head of U.P. police from January 1, 2018, to January 30, 2020, he witnessed firsthand the challenges posed by the anti-CAA demonstrations and the imperative need for an effective policing framework to maintain law and order.

The adoption of the commissionerate system in two key cities, Lucknow and Noida, signaled a proactive response from the state government to bolster policing capabilities and address emerging security concerns. By centralizing authority within the police hierarchy, the system sought to streamline decision-making processes and enhance coordination in response to evolving threats.

CM Yogi Adityanath’s endorsement of the commissionerate system reflected a strategic approach to governance, emphasizing the paramount importance of ensuring public safety and upholding the rule of law amidst civil unrest. The move underscored the government’s commitment to empowering law enforcement agencies with the necessary tools and authority to effectively combat crime and maintain social order.

As O.P. Singh’s memoir provides valuable insights into the decision-making process behind the implementation of the commissionerate system, it offers a nuanced understanding of the dynamics shaping law enforcement in Uttar Pradesh during a period of heightened political tension and social upheaval. In retrospect, the adoption of this reform initiative stands as a testament to the state government’s proactive stance in addressing contemporary challenges and safeguarding the interests of its citizens.

Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy

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