Our Correspondent/Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government announced late Sunday night that a special force will be set up with powers similar to that of the CISF (Central Industrial Security Force), which can search and arrest people without a warrant.
The Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF) will be tasked to protect courts, airports, administrative buildings, metros, banks, among other government offices.
The UPSSF "will be a dream project" of Chief Minister Adityanath, Home Secretary Avanish Awasthi was quoted as saying in a series of late-night posts from the UP government's Twitter handle.
As per Awasthi, "eight battalions of the UPSSF will be constituted initially at a cost of ₹ 1,747.06 crore. The initial infrastructure for the force would come from the PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary), a special unit of the UP Police. “
"Any member of the force can, without the prior permission of any magistrate and without any warrant, arrest any person," one of the tweets read, adding that "separate rules for this section would be framed".
The opposition Congress and Samajwadi Party have dubbed the move as illegal and anti-constitutional. Lalan Kumar, a UP Congress leader, alleged, “All crimes in UP are being committed under the patronage of CM Yogi. This is just an attempt to constitute a personal 'sena' of Yogi, a government version of Yuva Vahini. The UP police have been putting scores of people like Dr Kafeel Khan and CAA activist Sadaf Jafar and social media users in jail on false charges. One can understand what kind of services the new force will offer with sweeping powers.”
Samajwadi Party leader Juhi Singh condemned the move and insists that the party is going to oppose it on roads and in the Assembly.
“The Yogi government has miserably failed to control crime. Now, they are going to form a force with unlimited powers. Intentions are not good for sure as we have seen how the existing police force is currently cracking down on social and political activists and students. This centralisation of power aims at keeping up pressure on opposition in the upcoming Panchayat Elections and 2022 Assembly polls. What is appalling is that the SSF personnel would be given on contract to private players.”