ADVERTISEMENT

Amitabh & Nutan Thakur's Thorny History With the UP Govt – And Not Just Yogi's

The ex IPS officer was arrested on Friday, having been prematurely retired in March 2021.

Updated
News
4 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Retd IPS officer Amitabh Thakur.</p></div>
i
"It seems Yogi Adityanathji is scared because of my visit. It is rather funny that a tall leader like him is petrified of me and my wife."

This is what former IPS officer Amitabh Thakur had to say when he was placed under house arrest on 21 August, when he was supposed to be visiting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's constituency, Gorakhpur.

Thakur was arrested by the UP Police on Friday, 27 August, just hours after it was announced that he would be contesting against the chief minister from the Gorakhpur constituency in next year's UP Assembly elections.

The arrest was in connection with an FIR registered at the Hazratganj police station earlier on Friday, for abetment of suicide of a woman and her friend who had immolated themselves outside the Supreme Court on 16 August.

ADVERTISEMENT

The woman had accused BSP MP Atul Rai of rape in 2019, and in a Facebook Live video made when she set herself on fire, had said that she was being harassed and threatened even though Rai was in judicial custody, and that he was being supported by senior police officers.

The FIR and the arrest come after Thakur was given the "bizarre response" by the police that he was put under house arrest on 21 August because of anger against him in connection with the self-immolation of the woman who had accused Rai of rape.

It is at this time that Thakur made the claim that the chief minister was "petrified" of him and his wife, Dr Nutan Thakur.

But why would Thakur and his wife 'scare' the UP government? Here's how both have a history of being at loggerheads with the authorities.

RUN-INS WITH UP GOVTS OF THE PAST

Dr Nutan Thakur is a former Bharatiya Janata Party and Aam Aadmi Party member, who has filed numerous PILs in the Allahabad High Court over the years.

According to The Indian Express, she and Amitabh have filed numerous PILs and RTI queries against the UP governments of various administrations.

  • In 2012, they filed a petition against the erstwhile UP chief secretary Jawed Usmani over vacancies in the state's Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission.

  • In 2013, Dr Nutan filed a PIL in the Allahabad High Court asking for a CBI enquiries into all major riots that occurred in UP after the Samajwadi Party came to power the year before, alleging bias towards "a particular sect".

Dr Nutan's frequent PILs led to an order from the Allahabad High Court that she would have to deposit a sum of Rs 25,000 every time she filed a PIL, which would be refunded if the court found that the case dealt with a genuine public cause.

The Supreme Court upheld this condition imposed on her in 2014, with the judges reportedly saying: “There is nothing extraordinary about this order. All that it asks you to do is to deposit Rs 25,000. It does not curtail your right to file a bona fide PIL. It is only to ensure that you don't henceforth file frivolous petitions."

ADVERTISEMENT

Amitabh also has had a fraught relationship with the Samajwadi Party during its last term. On 13 July 2015, he was suspended after he accused SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav of threatening him and releasing an audio recording of the alleged threats. In October 2015, the Allahabad High Court stayed the suspension and ordered his reinstatement.

In 2016 and January 2017, he wrote to the central government asking for his cadre to be reassigned as he was being treated by the then UP government officials as a "sworn enemy", according to The New Indian Express. These requests were turned down.

Interestingly, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeted condemning Amitabh's arrest on Friday.

RUN-INS WITH YOGI GOVT

In March 2021, Amitabh, who was set to retire in 2028, was handed out an early retirement by the Yogi Adityanath government; he was Joint Director (civil defence) at the time.

“In public interest, Amitabh Thakur is being given premature retirement before completion of his service with immediate effect,” the UP Home Ministry order regarding this said.

Thakur used his social media profiles to criticise the current UP government. The most recent example was slamming the conduct of UPSSSC PET examinations despite a case being filed regarding leaks of the papers.

Nutan also took on the Yogi government in courts and outside.

In 2017, for instance, she filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court regarding the deaths of 30 children in Gorakhpur's NRD Medical College hospital, claiming the authorities were trying to cover up the cause of the tragedy. She also criticised the handling of the Hathras case in 2020.

On Friday, while announcing Amitabh's decision to stand against the chief minister from his bastion, she said (according to PTI):

"Adityanath took many undemocratic, improper, suppressive, harassing, and discriminatory steps during his tenure as chief minister. Hence, Amitabh shall be contesting the election against Adityanath from wherever he contests. (sic)"
Nutan Thakur

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

ADVERTISEMENT
Published: 
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT