IT was billed as the world’s largest congregation. In 49 days, 240 million visitors and pilgrims came to Prayagraj’s Kumbh Mela. The key challenge was to manage the crowd. The Uttar Pradesh Police did a fantastic job and the main face behind this soaring success was Om Prakash Singh, DGP, UP Police. According to the official figures, 20,000 police personnel were employed during the festival. Forty police stations, which included three fully-manned women ones, were set up in the main Kumbh area. This ensured safety and security, as well as confidence among women visitors and pilgrims. As one newspaper report said, “Forty fire fighting centres, 15 fire posts, 40 watch towers, and more than 1,000 CCTVs were put in place. As many as 6,000 home guards, 80 companies of central forces, and 20 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary were brought in.” Singh had overall charge of crowd management that he monitored regularly. Singh has occupied several key posts, including DG of the Central Industrial Security Force. He was especially handpicked By Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to become DG, UP Police, in September 2018. It is speculated in media circles that he understands both politics and governance in the state. His colleagues maintain that he has his feet firmly on the ground, and he had extremely successful stints in both the Prime Minister’s security, and National Disaster Response Force. He also won the Disaster Response medal.