Self-immolation outside SC: Ex-IPS officer held, FIR also names MP

Updated on Aug 28, 2021 12:44 AM IST

A judicial magistrate’s court in Lucknow has sent the former IPS officer to judicial custody till September 9.

Senior IPS officer IG Amitabh Thakur was kept suspended for 10 months while most others were reinstated within a few days or 2-3 months.(HT FILE PHOTO)
Senior IPS officer IG Amitabh Thakur was kept suspended for 10 months while most others were reinstated within a few days or 2-3 months.(HT FILE PHOTO)
By, Hindustan Times, Lucknow

Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Amitabh Thakur was arrested on Friday after the Lucknow police registered a first information report (FIR) against him and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP from Ghosi, Atul Rai, on the basis of the findings of a two-member committee probing allegations of fabrication of evidence raised by a sexual assault victim and her male associate who set themselves on fire outside the Supreme Court.

A judicial magistrate’s court in Lucknow has sent the former IPS officer to judicial custody till September 9.

Before attempting suicide along with the male associate on August 16, the woman recorded a Facebook Live video in which she named Thakur, a former Varanasi senior superintendent of police and a judge of the MP/MLA court, claiming they allegedly favoured Rai and fabricated evidence in his favour. The two succumbed to burn injuries days later. On August 17, UP police also suspended two other police officers and initiated departmental action against them for allegedly not properly compiling evidence in another cheating case involving the woman.

The police said that on May 1, 2019, the woman filed a rape case against Rai at the Lanka police station in Varanasi. After the MP’s anticipatory bail was rejected by the Supreme Court the same month, he surrendered in a Varanasi court in June 2019. He is currently in jail.

Lucknow commissioner of police DK Thakur confirmed the arrest and said that the former IPS officer was taken to the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow where an FIR under IPC sections 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 195-A (threatening any person to give false evidence), 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture), 306 (abetment of suicide), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) had been lodged against him and Rai.

Additional director general of police (law and order) Prashant Kumar said the FIR has been lodged on the basis of the interim report filed by the two-member committee which recommended registration of FIR against the MP and the former IPS officer as per its initial findings.

Sharing further details, another senior police official said the FIR was lodged by senior sub-inspector Daya Shankar Dwivedi of Hazratganj police station after he was apprised of the findings of the two-member committee comprising director general (DG) (Recruitment and Promotion Board) RK Vishwakarma and additional director general (1090) Neera Rawat which probed the allegations raised by the sexual assault victim.

The official said the probe committee mentioned in its findings that the sexual assault victim had written a letter to the then Varanasi SSP on November 10, 2020, stating that Thakur, who was the then IG (civil defence), in connivance with Rai, was fabricating evidence against them. He said the victim alleged that Thakur intentionally tried to create fake evidence by making an audio clip about a telephonic conversation -- allegedly between a key witness and Angad Rai, a criminal lodged in Sonbhadra jail -- go viral.

He said the sexual assault victim had also mentioned that at least seven criminal cases were lodged against her and her associate, allegedly on the MP’s behest, to harass and mount pressure on her to turn hostile in the rape case. The probe committee also mentioned in its report the allegation raised by the victim and her associate that they were being forced to end their lives due to the pressure tactics.

The officer said that Thakur denied all charges when questioned by the two-member committee for around 3.5 hours on Thursday.

The Uttar Pradesh government had formed the committee on August 17 to look into the allegations raised in the Facebook Live video and submit a report within two weeks. The deadline for the probe committee will end in three days.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Thakur had announced formation of a new political party, Adhikar Sena. The announcement came nearly two weeks after he announced that he will contest against UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath from wherever he stands for re-election in the 2022 state assembly polls.

Thakur, a 1992-batch IPS officer, has faced multiple inquiries during his service tenure in the past 15 years. He was given compulsory retirement in March this year after he was reportedly not found fit for the service.

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