Lucknow: After dragging its feet for several days on taking decisive action against officials who failed to control the communal clashes in Faizabad, the state government late Tuesday shifted the district magistrate (DM) and senior superintendent of police (SSP) of the district.
A government spokesman said that DM (Faizabad) Deepak Agarwal and SSP Ramit Sharma were replaced by Ajay Shukla and Dharmendra Singh.
The government also withdrew the charge of law and order from Additional Director General of Police (ADG) Jagmohan Yadav, hitherto considered very close to the ruling party.
A senior official said that the strict action was to send a clear message that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was not ready to "compromise on law and order front".
Shunting out Jagmohan Yadav, the number two in Uttar Pradesh police and keeping in mind his close association with Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, was not an easy option but to protect the people and to send the right message down the line, this decision was required, the official said while justifying the decision.
The decision shows that the chief minister has starting "asserting himself" on matters related to the image of the government, another close aide of Akhilesh Yadav conceded.
Faizabad district had reported communal clashes late last month and curfew had to be imposed for more than a week. Opposition parties had tore into the state government alleging all round failure on the law and order front.
The Chief Minister had earlier warned that if riots were reported from any district, the district administration will bear the brunt of penal action.
There have been nine communal riots or flare ups ever since the Akhilesh Yadav led government took over the reins of the state. More than a dozen innocent people have lost their lives in the rioting, leaving a blot on the SP government.
The five-year rule of the predecessor Mayawati was bereft of any such communal clashes.