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LU violence: Why was SSP transferred a day after hearing of PIL, asks HC

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court directed the principal secretary (home) and the DGP to file affidavits explaining why the then SSP was transferred a day after the PIL petition related to violence at the Lucknow University came up for hearing in the court.

lucknow Updated: Jul 17, 2018 13:08 IST
Pawan Dixit
Pawan Dixit
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lucknow University,Violence,SSP transferred
Protestors at Lucknow University being detained by police, in Lucknow.(PTI File Phjoto)

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Monday directed the principal secretary (home) and the DGP to file affidavits explaining why the then SSP was transferred a day after the PIL petition related to violence at the Lucknow University came up for hearing in the court.

The double bench of justice Vikram Nath and justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan made the observation while hearing the PIL petition (suo motu) on July 4 violence at the university.

LU chief proctor Vinod Singh and 11 teachers had suffered injuries when a group of around 25 people – mostly students expelled from the university – pelted them with stones on the campus.

Deepak Kumar was the senior superintendent of police (SSP), Lucknow, when the incident took place.

The court took suo motu cognizance of the incident on July 5 and a PIL petition came up for hearing before the court on July 6.

The next day, the state government transferred Deepak Kumar and appointed Kalanidhi Naithani as the new SSP of Lucknow, who was then serving in Bareilly in the same capacity.

Kumar was transferred to PAC, Ghaziabad.

During Monday’s hearing, Naithani appeared before the court. On behalf of LU, proctor Vinod Singh and registrar SK Shukla attended the hearing.

“The SSP’s transfer sent a message among the public that he was shifted after the court took note of the issue (LU violence),” the court observed.

The court said it was not against any officer and asked the chief standing counsel of the state government Ramesh Pandey, who was present in court, that when the inquiry (into LU violence) had not been completed, why the SSP was transferred.

“The principal secretary (home) and the director general of police must file affidavits stating the reason why the SSP was transferred a day after the court heard the PIL,” observed the court.

Additional advocate general Vinod Kumar Shahi and chief standing counsel Ramesh Pandey tried to assure the court that the SSP was transferred in good faith.

Pandey also informed that court that seven students involved in the July 4 violence had been arrested.

He also assured the court that the committee headed by the UP chief secretary would submit its report before the court in the next one month.

On July 6, the court had directed the state government to constitute a committee under the chief secretary and develop a mechanism to ensure that such incidents did not occur in future.

The university’s counsel assured the court that the institution would submit its report related to preventive steps required to check such incidents in future on the next date of hearing.

The court fixed August 6 as next date of hearing and exempted LU proctor and registrar from personal appearance.

First Published: Jul 17, 2018 13:08 IST