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Inquiry begins into ‘live encounter’ by Ghaziabad cops

Following intervention of UP top brass, the team members involved in the late night ‘arrest’ of a criminal who was already in custody were summoned for a probe.

noida Updated: Jul 27, 2017 12:42 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
Ghaziabad,Ghaziabad police,encounter
The video showed that in a dramatic chain of events, a team of Ghaziabad police flagging down a bike near Kamla Nehru Nagar, firing multiple shots in the air and nabbing one of the fleeing bikers after a 100 metre chase. (Video Grab)

The Ghaziabad police on Wednesday initiated an inquiry into a ‘live police encounter’, a video of which showed some officers nabbing a criminal late on July 20 in the presence of mediapersons.

The inquiry was initiated nearly six days after a video of the incident surfaced. The policemen allegedly nabbed a criminal named Deepak Sharma, who carried a reward of Rs 25,000 on him.

The video showed that in a dramatic chain of events, a team of Ghaziabad police flagging down a bike near Kamla Nehru Nagar, firing multiple shots in the air and nabbing one of the fleeing bikers after a 100 metre chase. The entire sequence of events were captured by a group of mediapersons, who were present at the scene beforehand, leading to claims from some quarters that the event might have been staged.

However, the matter snowballed into a controversy when later it came to light that the man was already arrested from Muzaffarnagar earlier that day, according to an FIR lodged at Kavi Nagar police station.

The FIR number 1069/2017 lodged at Kavi Nagar police station stated that the team had arrested Deepak Sharma at noon from Lak village in Muzaffarnagar, nearly nine hours before the late night encounter.

“The inquiry is being monitored by top officials of Uttar Pradesh police. There is no scope for escape for any team member who was part of the ‘encounter’. All the members of the team have been summoned to get their statements recorded. We have even called up the staff of the Kavi Nagar police station, where the FIR was registered and the documentation took place,” said Shyam Narayan Singh, superintendent of police (traffic), the inquiry officer.

The incident on the night of July 20 allegedly involves use of weapons by the team and also the ‘arrest’ of an accused already under police custody.

“Once the statements of the police officials are recorded, the report will be submitted to senior superintendent of police (SSP) for further action. In case any team member denies his involvement, he will have to clarify and support his claim with ample evidence,” Singh added.

The team that carried out the encounter and arrest included officers from special operation group, which is headed by city superintendent of police Akash Tomar.

Following the alleged ‘live encounter,’ which gained widespread media coverage in television and also in print media, Tomar had broadcasted a message about two criminals on bike opening fire on the police team at Kamla Nehru Nagar.

“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. An hour later, he also flashed the picture of arrested accused, Deepak.

Now with the team members allegedly involved in the ‘live encounter’ facing an inquiry, Tomar maintains that “I was given the information and immediately 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.”

After the top brass of the UP police came to know about the ‘live encounter’ and the arrest of Deepak Sharma as documented in the FIR, they ordered an inquiry.

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 12:42 IST