Gonda police chief shunted out for sting operation

UP minister backing cattle smugglers gets clean chit

The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday, quite unceremoniously, shunted the Gonda district police chief who had conducted a sting operation and trapped a senior Samajwadi Party minister advocating the case of a cattle smuggler, who offered bribe to the senior cop.

District police chief of Gonda Navneet Kumar Rana was shunted out and replaced with Hari Narayan Singh, according to the home department officials here. Rana has been attached to the police headquarters here.

SP leader K C Pandey, who has two criminal cases pending against him and whose telephonic conversation with the top police offer was recorded, has been given a clean chit by the government, sources said.

Rana’s removal comes at a time when he had launched a massive manhunt to nab Pandey who has been on the run after his involvement in the cattle trafficking was exposed. Sources said the government was not happy with the ‘over zealous’ top cop.
Soon after the details of the sting operation became public, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had promised a thorough probe into the case.

Pandey, a senior Brahmin leader of the party hadbeen made vice president of UP Cane Research Council and was made a minister by the state government last week only.
The conversation reportedly revealed that the minister had sent a cattle smuggler to the senior cop and asked him to bribe the officer. In the conversation, the police officer told the SP leader that he should have known that he (cop) was an honest person.

According to police officers here, the cops in Gonda had intercepted a truck loaded with cattle that were being smuggled out of the state and taken for slaughter in December last year.

The cattle smuggling gang had allegedly contacted Pandey and sought his help.
“The Akhilesh government stands exposed. The action against the cop will demoralise the police force,” said state BJP chief Luxmikant Bajpai.

Earlier also, the government had shifted a chief medical officer after he had been abducted by a state minister following his refusal to appoint the candidates recommended by the minister. An inquiry was also ordered against the official.

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