Meet Saharanpur's New SSP Babloo Kumar, UP's Troubleshooter Cop
Meet Babloo Kumar, Saharanpur’s 35-year-old SSP, who has now become a troubleshooter cop in UP.
Saharanpur SSP Babloo Kumar. (Photo courtesy: hindi.news18.com)
New Delhi: On May 23, during Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati's visit to Shabbirpur village in Saharanpur district, clashes broke out between Thakurs and Dalits. This was the third major incidence of violence since SC Dubey took over as Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of the district. The clashes were a major embarrassment for UP Police since they took place in full view of cops and Rapid Action Force (RAF). Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath transferred Dubey and the District Magistrate out of Saharanpur. In this time of crisis, the government turned to a 2009-batch IPS officer who has now become an expert of sorts in handling crises.
Meet Babloo Kumar, Saharanpur's 35-year-old SSP, who has now become a troubleshooter cop in UP. In March 2016, Jalaun district in UP's Bundelkhand district was tense. "There was a gang war between two groups in the local sand mafia. Local residents were getting hurt and some even lost their lives," Kumar told News 18. Then CM Akhilesh Yadav chose to hedge his bets on Kumar and it paid off. "The first step was to contain the violence and give confidence to the people. Once the gang war came under control and all the troublemakers were behind bars, things became normal.”
While things came under control in Jalaun, another conflict was brewing in western UP’s Mathura. During an anti-encroachment drive in Mathura City's Jawaharbagh, a cult-group known as Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena, who considered themselves followers of Subhash Chandra Bose, opened fire on the police. The armed squatters killed SP (city) Mukul Dwivedi and Inspector Santosh Kumar Yadav. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav wasted no time in summoning Babloo Kumar, who had been tested in Jalaun not long ago. Such was the CM's urgency that Kumar was flown in from Muzaffarnagar on a helicopter, so that he could take charge without any delay.
In the last two months, Saharanpur has seen three different SSPs. However, it is only under Kumar that the cycle of violence seems to have ended. The challenge ahead for the 35-year-old IPS officer, however, is immense. So what are his priorities in Saharanpur, which continues to be tense?
"There are two priorities and they have to be addressed simultaneously. The first is to stop the rumors and the second is to investigate the cases and bring the guilty to justice. We have formed a Special Investigative Team (SIT) that will look at the 46 cases filed in connection with the clashes so far. Once things ease further, we will also lift the ban on internet services. The third priority is to generate confidence among the people by reaching out to victims on all sides. Everyone should know that the law stands with them," he said.
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