The Yogi Adityanath government Sunday issued a notification for the formation of the Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF), which will not require warrants for an arrest or to conduct searches as long as it is “sure about the crime”.
The special force will be responsible for the security of important government buildings, offices and industrial establishments in the state, while private companies can also hire its services.
In a series of late-night posts, the UP government Twitter handle quoted Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi as saying that “eight battalions of the UPSSF will be constituted initially at a cost of ₹ 1747.06 crore”. The initial infrastructure for the force would come from the PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary), a special unit of the UP Police. The UPSSF “will be a dream project” for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Mr Awasthi pointed out.
There has been no formal response from the government on the criticism, however, sources, have underlined the powers being given to the UPSSF are similar to the CISF , the central force that guards similar installations.
“Any member of the force may, without any order from a magistrate and without a warrant, arrest any person who voluntarily cause hurt to, or attempts voluntarily to cause hurt to, or wrongfully restrains or attempts wrongfully to restrain or assaults, or uses, or threatens or attempts to use criminal force to any employee,” section 11 of the CISF Act 1968 says, offcicials in the UP government said.
Section 12 of the CISF ACT reads: “Whenever any member of the Force not below the prescribed rank has reason to believe that any such offence as is referred to in section 11 has been or is being committed and that a search warrant cannot be obtained without affording the offender an opportunity of escaping or of concealing evidence of the offence, he may detain the offender and search his person and belongings forthwith and, if he thinks proper, arrest any person whom he has reason to believe to have committed the offence.”