Senior UP cadre IPS officer and DG Provincial Armed Constabulary, Atul has received the full backing of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in his fight against minister Brahmananad Tripathi for taking a firm stand against the rampant corruption during his tenure as head of the Home Guards Department.
An official known for his integrity, Atul was one of the three officers shortlisted for the key post of the CBI director, which eventually went to Ranjit Sinha.
The IPS officer’s unblemished track record even got the Election Commission to give him overall charge of the Police Department during the Assembly polls held last year after the earlier incumbent had been shunted out by the panel for his failure to adopt a non-partisan approach.
Meanwhile, despite Tripathi’s insistence on getting Atul removed as DG, the Chief Minister has refused to play ball.
Earlier after taking charge of the Home Guards in March last, Atul had been inundated by complaints from the jawans that they were being fleeced by their seniors, who assign them field duty.
The Home Guards assist the state police and para-military forces in maintaining the law and order. But unlike the police and the troopers,the Home Guards personnel are not on the pay rolls of the government. So they are given an honorarium against their duty.
“It is common practice among the Home Guard jawans to grease the palms of their seniors to get duty,“ lamented a senior officer, who said it was an old practice and several lakhs were extorted from the jawans every month and every one including the top officials received their cut.
As part of the efforts to excise the malaise, the DG sought to replace the manual assigning of duties, which he felt was the root cause of the ills plaguing the department, with a computerised system.
However, this was objected to by the minister who ordered Atul to restore the old system.