Lucknow: With the rising crime graph and communal flare-ups affecting its image, the Samajwadi Party government of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday axed Director General of Police (DGP) A C Sharma and replaced him with Dev Raj Nagar.

Sharma has been sent to the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) as its director general. Nagar, a 1976 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, hails from western Uttar Pradesh.

The move was anticipated for a long while now after the one-year-old Samajwadi Party government was cornered by opposition parties over deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

Sharma, who was considered close to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, was given the charge of the state police soon after the Samajwadi Party government was sworn in. But he has been under fire for his poor control over his forces.

With the ruling party getting knocks over increased crime and communal flare-ups across the state, the transfer of the state's  police chief was long overdue, close aides of the chief minister told.  "Sharma was given ample time to perform and sort out things but this did not happen," a senior official pointed out.

Sources suggest that more such "top level" heads in the state’s home department are likely to roll in days to come as the chief minister has suggested far-reaching changes in the state police set-up as the party braces up for the forthcoming general elections.

Some feel this was a welcome sign as the young chief minister was taking matters in his own hands rather than being guided by party veterans, including his father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. "Old timers and party loyalists have been given a chance but now on they will not be spared if found wanting in discharge of their duties," said a senior party functionary.


Latest News from Uttar Pradesh News Desk