New Delhi: Nine former IPS officers wrote an open letter to Delhi Police Commissioner S.N. Shrivastava Monday alleging that investigations into the February riots in the national capital’s northeast district were “flawed”.
They have asked for a re-investigation of all riots cases “without any bias” and based on strong principles of a criminal probe.
The letter said that investigations and challans submitted by the Delhi Police with respect to the riots were “partisan and politically motivated”. This, it further said, has “pained all police officers (those serving and retired), who believe in upholding rule of law and the Constitution”.
The signatories of the letter include K. Saleem Ali, former special CBI director; A.S. Dulat, former OSD on Kashmir in the Prime Minister’s Office; Shafi Alam, former DG, National Crime Records Bureau; and Mohinderpal Aulakh, former DGP (jails) in the Punjab government; among others.
The letter also claimed that one of the special police commissioners had tried to “influence investigations claiming resentment among Hindus over the arrest of some rioters from their community”.
“Such a majoritarian attitude in the police leadership leads to a travesty of justice for the victims of the violence and their family members belonging to minority communities. This would further mean that real culprits of the violence belonging to majority community are likely to go scot-free,” the letter said.
Speaking to ThePrint, Anil Mittal, additional PRO of the Delhi Police, however said the force has investigated all riot cases professionally and meticulously. “The matter is sub judice and any grievances in this regard has to be raised in the appropriate platform,” he said.
Regarding the contents of the letter, Mittal said the “matter has already been adjudicated by the Delhi High Court which said that they prima facie found nothing wrong in the investigation”.
‘CAA protesters were simply exercising their rights’
The letter said what “pained” the officers more was the implicating of people who were protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). They were “simply exercising their fundamental rights of freedom of speech and peaceful protests” as guaranteed by the Constitution, it stated.
The former IPS officers also said that basing the investigations on “disclosures” without any concrete evidence violated principles of a fair probe. “Such investigation will only make people lose faith in democracy, justice, fairness and the Constitution,” read the letter.
Support for retd IPS officer Julio Ribeiro’s letter on BJP leaders
The former officers supported another letter by retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro to Shrivastava Saturday (12 September) in which he questioned why BJP leaders like Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma — who reportedly made incendiary speeches during the riots — have not been arraigned before the courts of law.
Ribeiro was the Mumbai Police commissioner, DGP Gujarat and DGP Punjab.
His letter asked why Muslim women who were “peacefully protesting” against religion-based discrimination have been lodged in prison. The letter further said there was cause for concern about the Delhi Police entangling activists such as Harsh Mander and Apoorvanand in criminal cases connected to the riots.
Ribeiro also said the police have a duty to enact laws and respect the Constitution without any regard to castes, creed or political affiliations.
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