Arrest on papers at noon, ‘live’ on cameras at night: UP ADG seeks report

Staged? The Uttar Pradesh additional director general (law and order), Anand Kumar, has sought a preliminary report into an alleged late night ‘live’ anti-crime operation carried out by officers of Ghaziabad Police on July 20.

delhi Updated: Jul 25, 2017 10:10 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
Ghaziabad,Ghaziabad police,encounter
Deepak Sharma, who was involved in murder and robbery in Andhra Pradesh, carried a reward of ₹25,000 on him.(Video Grab)

The Uttar Pradesh additional director general (law and order), Anand Kumar, has sought a preliminary report into an alleged late night ‘live’ anti-crime operation carried out by officers of Ghaziabad Police on July 20.

Video footage of the operation, conducted in the presence of some mediapersons, shows the police ‘nabbing’ one Deepak Sharma, who carried a reward of ₹25,000 and was allegedly involved in a murder and robbery in Andhra Pradesh.

Hindustan Times has learnt that the top brass has sought a preliminary report into the alleged encounter, conducted at a forested area in Kamla Nehru Nagar of Ghaziabad, after they came to know about an FIR lodged at the Kavi Nagar police station about the arrest of Sharma, who is from Muzaffarnagar.

The FIR (crime number 1069/2017) says Sharma was arrested around 12 noon on July 20 from Lak village in Muzaffarnagar. But the footage shows Sharma being nabbed on July 20 night in Ghaziabad.

“The ADG has sought a detailed preliminary report from the senior superintendent of police, Ghaziabad, about the encounter and the arrest of the accused. On inquiry, action will be taken up against the officials,” said Rahul Srivastava, spokesperson of the UP director general of police.

The alleged ‘live operation’ was captured on camera. The footage shows firing by policemen, a chase to arrest the two men, who allegedly try to flee on a bike, and finally the policemen nabbing Sharma from the bushes.

The content of the FIR, uploaded on the UP police CCTNS website, however, states that during the journey back to Ghaziabad, Sharma offered the team to get recover a pistol and cartridges allegedly used by him and his accomplice, Happy, during a robbery in Ghaziabad on April 20.

The FIR states that Sharma was taken in a private car to Happy’s residence in sector 23, Sanjay Nagar, in Ghaziabad. But Happy saw the cops and escaped even after a chase.

Sharma helped the police recover the weapons and₹35,000 left over from the robbery amount. The police seized the items at 4pm on July 20, the FIR stated.

Surprisingly, five hours later, the policemen -- including a special operation group team personnel of superintendent of police Akash Tomar -- were seen in videos, carrying out a search operation at a secluded jungle area near Kamla Nehru Nagar. The entire action is captured by mediapersons present at the spot.

Minutes later, a bike emerges from a lane with two riders rushing ahead. The policemen give them a chase, firing shots in the air. The mediapersons running alongside capture the sequence. A man with his face covered with a handkerchief is pulled out by the cops from the bushes.

The man turns out to be Sharma while the second person on the bike, presumably Happy, is said to have absconded.

Later, Tomar arrives and carries on combing operation in the bushes. But no one is found.

The videos were widely circulated on social media. The ‘live encounter’ drew criticism over the presence of mediapersons at the spot.

“Gzb. Ps kavinagar, Encounter between police and criminals in Kamla Nehru nagar. There was 2 criminals on bike fired on police team. 7 to 8 round firing between police and criminals. One arrested, 1 pistal and bike recoverd. Combing is continue for other criminal (sic),” Tomar had flashed the message through WhatsApp around 10.30pm on July 20. A copy of the broadcast message is with HT.

Reacting to the criticism, Tomar said he had written to the SSP, Ghaziabad, and sought an inquiry into the team that arrested the man.

“I was given the information and immediately I went to the spot. Later through media reports, I came to know that there were other angles to the story than what was claimed by the arresting team. So, I have sent the report to SSP for conducting an independent inquiry by an assistant superintendent of police,” Tomar added.

First Published: Jul 25, 2017 00:02 IST