The Ghaziabad district magistrate (DM) has ordered an inquiry of the arrest of the president and vice-president of River Heights apartment owners’ association (RH-AOA) at Raj Nagar Extension. The two were also sent to jail on the apprehension of the breach of peace under sections 151 and 107/116 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
The RH-AOA members had allegedly announced elections in the high-rise, but were barred from doing so by the police on December 24. However, despite a written submission that the elections will not be conducted, RH-AOA president Pramod Dhanked and vice-president Dr Sanjay Sharma were sent to Dasna jail on December 26. They came out on bail the next day after furnishing bonds of ₹10 lakh each.
Agitated residents staged protests in front of the office of the city magistrate on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, a delegation of RH-AOA members met DM Nidhi Kesarwani and handed over a memorandum to be submitted to the UP chief minister. The members raised concerns over the manner in which the two were arrested and sent to jail.
“We have received their memorandum and an inquiry into the allegations will be conducted by additional district magistrate (city). Action will be taken if any lapses are found in the inquiry. The memorandum will also be sent to the office of the UP CM,” Kesarwani said.
However, the incident invited sharp reaction from various RWAs, AOAs and residents about the manner in which police acted in haste to arrest the two residents and over the officials who allegedly failed to provide time for submission of bonds.
“We were treated like criminals and arrested immediately by the police. This was done when we were going to furnish documents of our bonds of ₹5 lakh each. In our memorandum, we have requested the DM to conduct an inquiry into the incident,” said Dhanked. He alleged that the entire episode seemed to be planned at someone’s behest.
The police had arrested Dhanked and Sharma and later sent in judicial custody by the executive court of city magistrate. This was done after the RH-AOA, which ended its term in September, had allegedly announced election and police feared a breach of peace.
The members said that they had also called up senior administration officials for help after their arrest on December 26. But, they claim, some of the officials and staff involved in the process delayed proceedings due to which they could not furnish the bail documents and had to go to jail.
“We will also move court against the officials and staff and approach the National Human Rights’ Commission. It is unheard that anyone is sent to jail under these CrPC sections. The members were deliberately not allowed to submit bail documents,” said VP Sharma, founder member, Ghaziabad RWA federation.
“We request the UP CM to act against the erring police officials involved in the incident. The police should not have acted without an order from the deputy registrar of societies. If nobody comes forward to denounce such acts, members of other resident associationswill be victimised by the police in a similar manner,” said Alok Kumar, founder, federation of apartment owners’ association.
Members of Ghaziabad RWA federation said that such incident is not a decent precedence for residents’ association. “We condemn the incident. Police should not use things like surety bonds on residents’ association members until there is a very serious law and order issue,” said Colonel (retd) TP Tyagi, chairman of Ghaziabad RWA federation.
We were treated like criminals and jailed despite assurance that no elections will take place. The UP CM should intervene.
Pramod Dhanked, president, River Heights’ AOA
Police and some officials acted in haste. People being sent to jail under such CrPC sections is unheard of.
VP Sharma, founder member, Ghaziabad RWA federation
We will move court and NHRC against police and officials to get justice. It is a violation of human rights.
Dr Sanjay Sharma, vice president, River Heights’ AOA.