2 IPS officers spared prosecution but face departmental action
Additional director general (ADG) Prem Prakash and deputy inspector general (DIG) Harish Kumar got relief from criminal case pending against them as the state government on Friday refused sanction to prosecute them for their alleged role in the case wherein the Lucknow residence of the then Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi (now in BJP) was set on fire. However, the government decided to take departmental action against the two officers.
Joshi’s house on posh Sarojini Naidu Marg was set on fire on the intervening of July 15 and 16, 2009, allegedly by BSP members. The incident took place a few hours after the Congress leader made an allegedly inflammatory comment against the then chief minister Mayawati at a public rally.
A senior official of home department confirmed that the state government had turned down the recommendation of the investigation agency Crime Branch-Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID) seeking prosecution sanction against ADG Prem Prakash and DIG Harish Kumar.
He said the state government did not find suitable ground for prosecution against such senior level police officers. However, the government decided to take departmental action against the two officers -- mild punishment to the ADG and departmental inquiry against Harish Kumar-- for their alleged negligence in the matter, he added.
The official said the two IPS officers may have to face monetary penalty or salary deduction or being reverted to junior post under mild punishment.
Prem Prakash was the then DIG Lucknow, and Harish Kumar was the then additional SP East, Lucknow. Prem Prakash is presently posted as ADG Kanpur Zone and Harish Kumar is posted as DIG of Police Training School, Gorakhpur.
The official said the CB-CID had named the two IPS officers in the two separate FIRs against 18 police personnel registered at Hussainganj police station on March 20, 2015 when the case was handed over to the agency nearly six years after the incident. He said the CB-CID had been asked to file charge sheet against five cops , including two retired deputy superintendents of police and three constables named in the FIRs. Earlier, prosecution sanction against these five policemen was given.
He said the role of the two IPS officers was alleged in assisting and being part of conspiracy behind the attack on Joshi’s house and setting it on fire. He said the two IPS officers and other police personnel were also accused of framing five innocent people and sending them to jail to favour the real arsonists.
The CB-CID had lodged the first FIR against nine police officers and personnel for their alleged involvement and assisting two politicians in setting ablaze Joshi’s house while the second FIR was lodged against 15 police officers and personnel for framing innocent people in the matter. The names of six police officers and personnel, including Prem Prakash and Harish Kumar, were common in both the FIRs. The CB-CID inspector Mritunjay Singh lodged the FIRs after finding their alleged involvement in the probe conducted by him.
The CB-CID inspector mentioned in the first FIR that the detailed probe of the incident confirmed that former BSP MLA Jitendra Kumar Singh alias Bablu and Intezar Abidi alias Bobby, former chairmen of a state corporation body, along with aides entered the premises and set it on fire. In 2011, the former MLA and Abidi were arrested by the CBCID in this connection but were given bail later.