IPS officer walks down the crime trail in UP

Rajesh Pandey
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Lucknow– An IPS officer has embarked upon a crime trail in UP, reliving milestones of almost three decades that changed the face of crime and politics – and also its relationship.

Bareilly DIG Rajesh Pandey has started a YouTube channel in which he is recounting his experiences with crime and criminals.

Titled ‘Kissagoi’, Pandey has shared anecdotes from his first posting as the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Sonebhadra in 1990 and then his stints in Jaunpur and Azamgarh.

The officer, one of the founding members of the special task force (STF) in UP, played a key role in solving innumerable high-profile cases that showed the criminal-politicians nexus.

Talking to IANS on Sunday, Pandey said he decided to chronicle his experiences during the lockdown when he found he had some time to himself. “All through my career, I have been on field postings, which left me with no time for myself and family. As the DIG, the field pressure is comparatively less and then the lockdown began. And I decided to record the experiences,” he said.

Pandey recounts the Lucknow University’s student politics when student leaders developed a fetish for suffixing quirky names. Gyanendra Singh had ‘Gyanu’ added to his name, Shailesh Kumar had ‘Shailu’ as an add-on and Arvind Singh became known as ‘Gope’.

He says the fight for supremacy on the campus began when aspirants for the students’ union polls started scribbling on hoardings ‘Kabza so-and-so’. “It meant the particular hoarding had been reserved by a particular aspirant and challenging it could lead to violence,” he says in one of the episodes.

In the subsequent episodes, Pandey talks about the sensational murder of Fredrick Gomes, a La Martiniere boys’ school teacher who was shot dead in his room in 1997.

The high point of Pandey’s ‘Kissagoi’ is the emergence of dreaded don Shri Prakash Shukla and the use of mobile phones in the underworld. It was Shukla’s dare delivery that forced the Kalyan Singh government to set up a STF to deal with the underworld.

Pandey was one of the key members of this force from its inception.

The IPS officer, a four-time winner of the President’s gallantry award and also the UN award for ‘Service of Peace’, details murders and kidnappings of high-profile businessmen that had become the order of the day in the late nineties.

He also handled the sensational murder of a poetess in Lucknow for which Amar Mani Tripathi, then a Minister, was convicted.

He explains how the police learnt to cope with the use of technology and overtake criminals in this and also unravels how some of these important cases were resolved.

With 21 episodes behind him and some more to come, Pandey is planning to write a book on his experiences in the UP Police. “I feel the new generations need to know about this phase in detail, and not just depend on internet knowledge,” he said.

Pandey plans to release the book after his retirement, which is still a year and a half away. (IANS)


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