Ved Prakash Surya, a police officer who was photographed standing alongside BJP leader Kapil Mishra as the latter gave a hate speech against Muslims at a pro-CAA rally on February 23 last year, a day before anti-Muslim pogrom broke out in Northeast Delhi, has now sent a request for consideration for the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry.
Surya, former DCP, Northeast Delhi, has sought the award saying he had “saved the lives of hundreds of people as well as properties and performed extraordinary work” during the pogrom, Indian Express reported.
The President’s Police Medal for Gallantry is awarded for, “gallantry in saving life and property, or in preventing crime or arresting criminals.” Recipients of the medal are granted a monthly stipend that is paid to them even in retirement, and upon the recipient’s death it continues to be paid to their surviving spouse.
Indian Express report also said around 25 police officers, including Surya, have put their case for the award. Sources said most of them have cited their role during the anti-Muslim pogrom in the national capital.
The anti-Muslim pogrom in the national capital in February last year is widely acknowledged to have been sparked by incendiary comments made by Kapil Mishra, about Muslims peacefully protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act.
In his application, Surya has claimed to have controlled the violence within three-four days. He also talks of his “courageous efforts in saving lives of hundreds of people”, including in response to phone calls for help, and says he wasn’t deterred despite stone-pelting.
Maktoob reached out to the police officer, but have not received a response.
Kapil Mishra had tweeted a video of his February 23, 2020, speech to a pro-CAA gathering in which he was heard saying, “The DCP (Surya) is standing in front of us and on your behalf, I want to tell him that till the US President (Donald Trump) is in India, we are leaving the area peacefully. After that, we won’t listen to you (police) if the roads are not vacated (by the anti-CAA protesters) by then. We will have to take to the streets.”
The international rights watchdog Amnesty International India released a investigative report last year and said that the Delhi police personnel were complicit and an active participant in the anti-Muslim pogrom.
India’s tallest Opposition leaders including Congress Party Treasurer and late MP Ahmed Patel, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, DMK leader and MP Kanimozhi, RJD leader and MP Manoj Jha, and CPI General Secretary D Raja met the President of India Ram Nath Kovind last year and handed over a memorandum raising questions about the role of the police during the northeast Delhi pogrom, besides expressing their lack of confidence in the probe of the incident.
The leaders impressed upon the President of India that instead of conducting an investigation into the violence in which 53 lives were lost and instigating which hate speeches calling for violence were made by senior ruling party leaders including a cabinet minister, the Delhi Police under the direction of the Union Home Minister is orchestrating a script that is linking peaceful anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protests to this violence.
According to a fact-finding report by the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) on violence in northeast Delhi, Delhi Police had sexually assaulted Muslim women who were protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The 134-page report has a separate section on women which seeks to detail multiple allegations of sexual assault on women, by Delhi Police and Hindu mob.
Rubina Bano, a resident of Chand Bagh in northeast Delhi, filed a police complaint in relation to the Delhi violence on 18 March 2020 and wrote to police that just before the policemen began their attack, she heard Anuj Kumar, the assistant commissioner of the Gokulpuri police station, assure BJP leader Kapil Mishra over the phone, “Don’t worry, we will strew the streets with their dead bodies such that it will be remembered for generations.”