UP orders SITs for probe into violence during anti-citizenship protests
The state police headquarters have been directed to constitute Special Investigation Teams (SIT) under supervision of Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) rank officers to ensure proper investigation in all 327 FIRs registered in connection with widespread violence during anti-citizenship law protests in as many as 15 districts of Uttar Pradesh. Besides, the police officers have been asked to conduct investigation on merit basis and arrest people only after collecting proper evidence against them.
The order issued on Thursday by Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh stated that all district police chiefs may depute ASP rank officers to supervise investigations in the FIRs related to violence and may constitute SITs under supervision of ASP rank officers.
A senior police official privy of development stated that the SITs have been constituted in at least two districts, including Kanpur and Meerut, while it is likely to be constituted in five other districts: Lucknow, Firozabad, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar and Sambhal.
Inspector General (IG) of Police, Law and Order, Praveen Kumar too confirmed that the detailed direction have been issued to the police officials of violent hit districts. He said the investigators have been asked to collect photographs and video footage as evidence to prove involvement in the violence before anyone is arrested.
He added further that already 1113 people have been arrested in connection with different FIRs registered across the state while preventive action have been initiated against 5558 people.
“At least 288 police personnel were injured in the violence reported in 15 districts since December 19. Of these, at least 61 personnel suffered injuries due to bullets fired from the crowd,” the IG said.
He said about 69 cartridges of non-prohibited bores and 647 bullet shells were also recovered from the arrested people as well as found lying at the scenes of violent protests. He said that investigation into the violence and arson reported in different districts of the state suggested that anti-social elements present among protestors carried illegal firearms and opened fire on the crowds.
The IG said the miscreants even snatched the service pistol of a police inspector during violence in Sambhal district on December 20. Besides, as many as 35 illegal firearms were recovered from Sambhal, Firozabad and Bijnor districts after the violence, he emphasised.
Earlier, UP director general of police OP Singh had also hinted at the possible involvement of people from West Bengal in the violent protests witnessed in Uttar Pradesh.