Mayawati’s yes for special force for statues, memorials

Lucknow, May 24 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is set to go ahead with her decision to form a special force to protect her multi-billion dream projects — memorials and statues, officials said Monday.

‘We will have the new outfit in place by next month. We commenced the recruitment exercise a couple of months ago,’ disclosed state police chief Karamveer Singh.

‘Since the entire recruitment was to be of ex-servicemen whose list had been sought from the local soldiers’ welfare board, the process would not take time,’ he said.

The new State Special Zone Security Force will be designated to guard different memorials and statues raised by Mayawati at a whopping cost of more than Rs.6,000 crore.

These include the Ambedkar Memorials in Lucknow and Noida, Kanshi Ram Memorial, Kanshi Ram Sanskritik Sthal, Rama Bai Ambedkar Maidan, Buddha Vihar and Kashi Ram Green Eco Garden — all in Lucknow.

The Kashi Ram Green Eco Garden is coming up on the sprawling 120-acre of land vacated after the shifting of the Lucknow district jail to the city’s outskirts.

However, it is learnt that the central government is against setting up such a special force with powers to arrest and prosecute.

Highly placed sources told IANS that the central government had written to Governor B.L. Joshi, saying the creation of such a force would be illegal.

The idea is to give the force a permanent status because a similar force created by the previous Mayawati regime in 2003 was disbanded by her successor Mulayam Singh Yadav.

While Raj Bhawan sources are tight-lipped, a top official said: ‘The state government does not necessarily require an enactment for raising a special force. It could be done through a simple administrative order. That has already been issued.’

As per the original plan, the new force of about 1,000 men would be headed by an officer of the rank of inspector general, who will be assisted by a superintendent of police and a few deputy superintendents.

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