Former Indian Police Service officer Amitabh Thakur, who announced that he will contest next year’s Assembly elections against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, on Saturday said that the police barred him from going to Gorakhpur and Faizabad.

Adityanath has been a member of Parliament from Gorakhpur for five consecutive terms from 1998 to 2017. He is currently a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.

Thakur, in a video message on Twitter, said on Saturday that when he was preparing to leave Lucknow for Gorakhpur, the Gomti Nagar Police told him that he could not do so on account of security reasons.

“I told them that if it is a matter of a security threat, then Yogi Adityanath ji should not go anywhere,” Thakur said. “After all, it is said that he faces threats from the ISI [Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence] and several other people. But he moves around, and security arrangements are made for him. In the same way, I should be given security.”

The former IPS officer then said that he subsequently wrote a letter to the police seeking permission, in response to which the police gave a “bizarre excuse”.

“They said that a woman and man had attempted suicide outside the Supreme Court...due to a case involving an MP. They claimed that due to this, there is anger among certain women against me,” Thakur said.

On August 16, a 27-year-old man and 24-year-old woman had set themselves on fire outside the Supreme Court. The woman was allegedly raped by Bahujan Samaj Party MP Atul Rai in 2019. The man succumbed to his injuries on Saturday morning, according to PTI.

Thakur said that if there was any threat to him on account of this case, then he should have been given security. He said that the police did not clarify why he only faced a threat in Gorakhpur and Ayodhya, and till when he faced the threat.

On August 18, Thakur said that he would contest elections against Adityanath, and that he would formally begin preparations in this regard on August 21.

Thakur had been given compulsory retirement on March 23. An order from the Union home ministry said that he was “not found fit to be retained for the remaining tenure of his service”, according to PTI.

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are expected to be held in February-March next year.