Just a few hours after the Bareilly SSP Prabhakar Chaudhary ordered an FIR following a lathicharge on a group of kanwariyas in Bareilly city for playing loud music outside a mosque, he was transferred to the Provincial Armed Constabulary headquarters as commandant.
The sudden decision has raised eyebrows and led to speculation about the reasons behind the move.
A video circulating on social media showed a man in a white shirt suddenly appearing from the crowd and firing shots into the air.
The area, notably, had already witnessed stone pelting outside the same Noor Shahi masjid on 23 July when the kanwariyas had allegedly taken out a procession with drums and a DJ set, leading to a police complaint by the Muslim community.
District officials revealed that efforts were made for six hours to reason with the kanwariyas, but they did not relent and instead grew aggressive, prompting the police to resort to a lathicharge.
On Sunday night, the government swiftly issued the order, replacing him with Sitapur SP Sushil Ghule Chandrabhan, who will now take charge as SSP of Bareilly.
This was his 18th transfer in eight years, just four months into his posting as the SSP, essentially the district police chief, of Bareilly.