Transfer Of UP Cop Who Led Arrests In Alleged Scam Sparks Controversy

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Transfer Of UP Cop Who Led Arrests In Alleged Scam Sparks Controversy

Satyarth Anirudh Pankaj was posted as Prayagraj's police chief in August 2019.

Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh:

An Indian Police Service (IPS) officer in Uttar Pradesh was removed from his post of Prayagraj district police chief in a late night order on Monday, triggering a fresh controversy in the state amid coronavirus lockdown. The opposition has claimed that this is a punishment for IPS officer Satyarth Anirudh Pankaj after several arrests were made recently under his watch in an alleged scam linked to the recruitment of 69,000 government primary school teachers in the state. He has not been given a new posting

In a concurrent development, Satyarth Anirudh Pankaj was admitted to a COVID-19 suspect ward in Prayagraj this morning after one of his security personnel tested positive for the highly infectious illness. In a statement, the Prayagraj administration said that the police chief has been hospitalised as he is "a high-risk contact". His test reports are awaited.

A 2010 batch IPS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, Satyarth Anirudh Pankaj was posted as Prayagraj's police chief in August 2019.

Last week, the district police had arrested 11 people including those accused of running a cheating racket linked to the recruitment of 69,000 government primary school teachers in Uttar Pradesh, showcased by the Yogi Adityanath government as a big achievement, marking a boost in the employment opportunities in the state.

Among those arrested is KL Patel, an influential businessman and politician who reportedly runs several private educational institutions in Prayagraj.

In a statement on Twitter, Congress's UP incharge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra questioned Mr Pankaj's transfer. "At a time when he unravelled a major scam, his departure should not affect investigations. Whatever the reason, such officers should get full support from the public who do their duty with full honesty and without fear," she said.

Priyanka Gandhi was reacting to a tweet by the officer from the SSP Prayagraj's twitter handle after news of his transfer last night.

In a message, Mr Pankaj had said in Hindi: "I am grateful for all the love and belief from the people of Prayagraj. I am hopeful you will always believe in the police in a similar way."

There have been no other reactions from the state government or the officer concerned on the criticism linked to his transfer.

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