(Gulfnews) Lucknow: The chief minister of India's most populous state has sacked 6,500 police officers, saying they paid bribes to get jobs under the previous government.
Chief Minister Mayawati also fired 12 senior officers late on Tuesday who were in charge of police recruitment in Uttar Pradesh state, one of India's most lawless, during the rule of her predecessor, Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Mayawati is widely seen as one of India's rising political stars but her critics say her decision was driven by a vendetta against her opponents.
After winning power in May, she ordered an inquiry that concluded that thousands of policemen paid recruiters 150,000 to 300,000 rupees ($3,700 to $7,300) for their jobs under Yadav's government.
"They would have only got down to misusing the uniform to retrieve whatever they spent to get the jobs," said Shashank Shekhar Singh, the state's cabinet secretary.
Both Mayawati and Yadav have been in power several times, and have a habit of firing or demoting people associated with their opponents whenever they regain power, although local media reported it had never been done on this scale before.
Yadav, who remains leader of the opposition, rejected all charges of corruption.