UP: Probe finds cops guilty of custodial torture, recommends censure entry in service book

A departmental enquiry report into police action in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur last year found that two Sub-inspectors are guilty of custodial violence and tarnishing the public image of the police.

On Friday, 13 January, a copy of the report submitted by the Superintendent of Police was shared by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) with one of the complainants, advocate Maroof Ansari, seeking his response before the final disposal of the case pending before it.

On 10 June 2022, a team of police officers from Thana Kotwali Nagar, Saharanpur arrested some protestors who were demonstrating against police inaction against Nupur Sharma, an expelled BJP spokesperson who made derogatory comments against Prophet Mohammad.

A viral video shows at least nine Muslims being brutally beaten by policemen.

The following day, a video was posted on Twitter by Shalabh Mani Tripathi, a Member of the UP Legislative Assembly celebrating the brutal and inhuman treatment by the police with the persons in custody.

After the video of police brutality went viral, the BJP leader later deleted the tweet. But its copies were shared and drew massive outrage.

The SP report, submitted in September 2022, recommended censure entry in the service records. An order of “Censure” is a formal and public act intended to convey that the person concerned has been guilty of some blameworthy act or omission for which it has been found necessary to award him a formal punishment.

Any officer who is ‘censured’ will have its bearing on the assessment of their merit or suitability for promotion to higher posts.

“Though the penalty is minor and symbolic in nature, still, it is a penalty,” Maroof Ansari told Maktoob. “It recognises the human rights violation by police officers involved in the matter.”

Although NHRC directed Saharanpur Police to submit the report in four weeks, Ansari said the reason for the delay in communication is unknown.

Ansari said he is “satisfied with the action” recommended in the departmental enquiry.

The massive protests against the derogatory comments against prophet Muhammed happened across India including New Delhi’s Jama Masjid and Uttar Pradesh’s cities Prayagraj, Hathras, Ferozeabad, Saharanpur, Moradabad and Ambedkarnagar where at least 300 Muslim protesters were later arrested.