Delhi riots: 26 former DGPs respond to Ribeiro’s letter, show support for police
After ten former IPS officers, including ex-Mumbai Police commissioner Julio Ribeiro, questioned Delhi Police’s probe into Delhi riots cases,and accused them of implicating anti-CAA protesters while being lenient to others associated with the ruling party, another group of ex-IPS officers has come out in support of the city police.
In a statement issued on Friday, 26 retired IPS officers said that they were “surprised at the conduct” of a few fellow ex-police personnel who support such kind of “anti-India expression and communal narrative’. They referred to some controversial slogans allegedly raised by former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid, arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and other serious charges. Khalid’s arrest last Sunday in the riots case has been criticised by many social activists, who have accused Delhi Police of targeting anti-government voices.
The 26 former police officers said, “The Delhi Police has every right and duty to investigate the role of any such persons, and custodial investigation is a part of due process of law. The accused has his rights under the law to seek anticipatory bail or regular bail, as the cause may be, and the right to a fair trial where he can prove himself innocent
Former Delhi Police commissioner RS Gupta, former UP DGPs RN Singh and Bhanu Pratap Singh, ex-DGPs of Bihar SK Bhardwaj and Ramesh Chandra Sinha, former Maharashtra DGP Praveen Dixit, ex-DGP of Tripura BL Vohra and former Kerala DGP S Gopinath are among the 26 ex-IPS officers who have signed the statement.
“A section of former police officers cannot usurp for themselves the office of Presiding Officers of the Courts to declare anyone innocent and try to put the police force in bad light. These officers have no right to suspect or question the integrity and professionalism of their successors in the Indian Police Service, and in turn demoralise them,” they said in the statement.
They said that such “posturing and adverse commentary” may demotivate police officers and dilute their firm resolve to act against criminals, including those who incite communal divide in India by instigating riots.
“We disapprove any statements or gestures by any motivated group of former police officers, which is aimed at defaming the police force and its serving officers, who are performing their duty day and night at great personal risk for the safety of general public,” they added.
Last week, noted former IPS officer Ribeiro wrote a letter to Delhi Police chief SN Shrivastava, requesting him to look into the North-East Delhi riots probe and make sure it was impartial. Riberio told the Delhi Police chief that police have failed to act against those who made hate speeches that led to the riots.
Two days later, nine retired IPS officers, including AS Dulat, former OSD on Kashmir, Prime Minister’s office; K Saleem Ali, former CBI special director; Amitabh Mathur, former special secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat and PGJ Nampoothiri, former director general of Gujarat Police, wrote an open letter to Shrivastava, saying they were pained at the police implicating those who spoke and joined protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) but letting off the hook those who instigated violence and are associated with the ruling party.
On Tuesday, Shrivastava responded to questions raised over the riots probe by Riberio and wrote to him, saying the investigation was being carried out without any discrimination on caste or religion, and was backed by documentary and scientific evidence.