7,400 ‘corrupt’ cop recruits sacked

New Delhi, October 1:

Thousands of police recruits have been fired in northern India after being accused of paying bribes and faking educational qualifications to get into the force, a report said today.

In the latest round of dismissals, the government led by Mayawati, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, sacked 7,400 policemen, the Press Trust of India said.

The firings bring to 17,848 the total number of police dismissed in Uttar Pradesh, the agency said.

They were hired in 2005 and 2006 during the tenure of Mayawati’s predecessor, Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has condemned the dismissals as “unconstitutional.”

Opponents have accused Mayawati, whose Bahujan Samaj Party won a sweeping majority in the state elections in May, of waging a vendetta against officers appointed by the previous government.

Mayawati has alleged that the recruits got their jobs by paying lakhs of rupees in bribes and providing false certificates. Marks on police entry tests were also allegedly altered.

Uttar Pradesh has more than 110,000 men and women in uniform but also has one of India’s highest crime rates.

The state government said a “detailed probe” into the recruitment process would be conducted by its anti-corruption branch.

A total of 22,000 police recruits were hired by the previous government and Mayawati says most were “irregular.” A slew of police supervisors who oversaw the recruitment have been suspended or fired.