9 Retired IPS officers have written an open letter to the Delhi Police Commissioner raising questions about the investigation carried out into the violence in North East Delhi in February and called for a fair reinvestigation.
“It indeed is a sad day in the history of Indian police that investigations and challans submitted in the Court by Delhi Police in connection with riots of this year are widely believed to be partisan and politically motivated. It pains all those police officers, serving as well as retired, who believe in upholding the rule of law and our Constitution,” reads the open letter written by Shafi Alam(former Director General, National Crime Record Bureau), K Saleem Ali (former Special Director, CBI), Mohinderpal Aulakh(former DGP(Jails), Punjab), AS Daulat (former OSD, J&K), Aloke B Lal(former DGP(prosecutions), Uttarakhand), Amitabh Mathur (former Director, Aviation Research Centre), Avinash Mohananey(former DGP, Sikkim), PGJ Nampoothiri (former DGP, Gujarat) and AK Samantha (former DGP(intelligence), WB).
These officers belong to a larger group of retired officers from different services called Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG).
The group of senior officers has called for a fair reinvestigation of all the northeast Delhi violence cases and said that the current investigation is a flawed investigation.
Many politicians, rights groups and activists eariler said that the Delhi Police have used draconian anti-terrorism, sedition, and other laws against students, activists, and other government critics in connection with the northeast Delhi violence but have not acted against violence by supporters of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The senior officers referred to Delhi Police Special Commissioner Praveer Ranjan’s attempt to influence investigations by asking its personnel to exercise “due care and precaution”, claiming resentment among Hindus over the arrest of some rioters belonging to their community.
“We were sad to note that one of your Special Commissioners had tried to influence investigations dlaiming resentment among Hindus ovar the arrest of some rioters belonging to their community. Such a majoritarian attitude in the police leadership leads to a travesty of justice for the victims of violence and their family members belonging to minority communities. This would further mean that real culprits of the violence belonging to majority community are likely to go scot free,” letter said.
IPS officers further noted that people who were exercising their fundamental rights in protesting or speaking out against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are the ones who were implicated without any concrete evidence.
They said: “They were simply exercising their fundamental rights of freedom of speech and peaceful protests as guaranteed by the Constitution. Basing investigations on “disclosures” without concrete evidence violates all principles of fair investigation. While implicating leaders and activists, who expressed their views against CAA, all those who instigated violence and are associated with the ruling party have been let off the hook.”
The nine officers also said they endorsed the recent letter that retired senior policeman and former Indian Ambassador Julio Ribeiro had written, questioning the police investigation into the riots.