LUCKNOW: In a major decision, the Uttar Pradesh government has proceeded to drop the charges against former deputy superintendent of police (DySP) Shailendra Singh, who had resigned from the services in 2004 after he had a fallout with the ruling Samajwadi Party government for recommending arrest of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).
The decision of the Yogi government to drop charges against the ex-cop was accepted by a Varanasi court. The cop was slapped with dozens of charges by the then SP dispensation for allegedly challenging the might of the mafia don.
The Yogi government had moved the Varanasi court seeking to drop the charges against Shailendra and the plea was accepted by the Varanasi court on March 6. Shailendra was handed over a copy of the court order on Tuesday (March 30, 2021).
While reacting to the decision, the former cop heaved a sigh of relief saying the truth had finally prevailed. He told the media persons that it was because of the criminal case that he was unable to procure a passport or an arms licence.
The ex-cop claimed that the criminal case slapped on him was an arm twisting tactic of the then political masters to silence him.
It may be recalled that Shailendra Singh, DySP, enjoying the image of an honest and upright officer, had faxed his resignation to the then UP Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri after he was allegedly ‘asked by his bosses’ not to initiate POTA proceedings against Mukhtar Ansari in a gun-running case in February 2004.
The move rocked the state assembly that was in session as the opposition mounted its attack on the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led government. The then leader of opposition Lalji Tandon had termed the developments as an indication of prevailing rot in the system. He had urged the governor to keep the option of recommending dismissal of the state government as the development was seen as the breakdown of Constitutional machinery in the state.
However, after the resignation by the DySP, the Mulayam government tried to tame the officer by slapping a criminal case on Shailendra Singh and he was arrested later.
After quitting the police force, Shailendra decided to contest the 2004 Lok Sabha election from Varanasi as an independent candidate but lost. He then joined the Congress party and tried his luck from Chandauli in 2009. In the 2012 assembly elections, he contested on the Congress ticket from Saiyadraja assembly constituency in Chandauli but lost.
After almost a seven-year stint with the Congress, Shailendra Singh joined the BJP on April 15, 2014. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, he was in charge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘war room’ in Varanasi.