Rediff.com  » News » 'Don't you think UP police should have accountability?'

'Don't you think UP police should have accountability?'

By PRASANNA D ZORE
December 31, 2019 08:14 IST

'Had the police firing been responsible for the killing, then that would have been excessive use of force, but somebody killing somebody else in your presence shows that either you are complicit or incompetent, or both.'

Photograph: PTI Photos

"There is a deep rooted conspiracy to have some kind of upsurge and simultaneous agitations in different parts of the state," former Uttar Pradesh director general of police Dr Vikram Singh tells Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore in the second part of the interview.

 

Given the court orders to recover damages during such protests, could the same yardstick be applied to the police who, according to some video footage, are seen damaging vehicles, ransacking properties by entering the homes of some protesters in 'hot pursuit', who the cops claim took part in the 'riots' or protest, and beat up senior citizens and women?

Desecration of anybody's homes cannot be part of hot pursuit. Violent searches, insulting women folk, humiliating the elderly cannot be part of hot pursuit.

Search should be done in a professional manner. When you and I go to the airport, the CISF officer salutes me, then he searches me, then again salutes me; that is also a way of searching. There is a way of searching legally and there is a way of searching shoddily. There is always a best way of doing everything.

This is not the way the police are supposed to conduct themselves.

I would not like to believe what I am told because there are so many fake news that are happening everywhere accompanied by rumours.

The UP police is a disciplined body and I would not likely believe (what I am hearing about these hot pursuits and vandalising homes) unless there's incontrovertible evidence that the police behaved in the manner in which they are alleged to have.

UP DGP O P Singh is reported to have said 'I never asked the force to fire' and has rubbished allegations that 19 people died in UP in police firing.
If what the DGP is saying is true, then who fired at the protesters and under whose orders?

It is not for the DGP to order the firing (at protesters). It is the policeman in charge at the site who orders the firing. He may be a sub-inspector, or a head constable or a constable.

The officer on the spot, if he realises that to safeguard himself or somebody else then vide the provision of Section 96 to 106 and under Section 41, 46, 47 and 48 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) he is entitled to use minimum amount of force to get entry into a house or over a particular situation.

The DGP doesn't have to give orders unless he himself is part of the police party facing such a situation.

Would you believe that these disturbances are part of a conspiracy and external elements are involved, leading to these incidents of firing?

200 per cent! Such spontaneous eruption of violence just does not happen at multiple locations.

I think there is a deep rooted conspiracy to have some kind of upsurge and simultaneous agitations in different parts of the state.

You have (members of the ) PFI (according to the police, the Popular Front of India is a militant Islamist organisation) arrested in Lucknow. There is presence of PFI in several districts of UP and also in New Delhi, which is indicative of the fact that there was a larger game plan to create large scale disturbances.

Does it warrant a judicial inquiry to look into the matter because it's a question of 19 deaths?

I would say we need a deep and thorough probe to understand the dynamics of these disturbances, who are the people behind them, who has been funding them, the role of sleeper cells, the police action and inaction and the absence of actionable intelligence.

These are facts that the nation will be confronted with and I certainly would recommend a high level inquiry to it.

Would you subscribe to claims made by the UP police that the protesters didn't die in police firing?

Personally speaking, I would say if they (the protesters) did not die of police firing, then they died in front of you. You cannot escape your moral responsibility of safeguarding the (lives of) people in your charge.

If they died by your firing, then the issue would have been questionable; but if they died without you firing, it is worse still.

If somebody has killed someone in your presence, then don't you think the UP police or the local police should have some accountability?

Had the police firing been responsible for the killing, then that would have been excessive use of force, but somebody killing somebody else in your presence shows that either you are complicit or incompetent, or both.

Should UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have used the word 'badla (revenge)'?

I look at it as a no-nonsense message and would not like to comment on the use of the word. But if I had been the chief minister, I would have also used the same word to give a no-nonsense message that your time is out. And wherever you are, the State machinery will get you.

As in the case of President George W Bush, after 9/11, when he said 'Every nation has a choice to make today. Either you are on their side or you are on my side'.

I think the message sent by Yogi Adityanath was perhaps the same: That the time has come in the reckoning of every state and every country that you have to take a decision whether you will have a soft approach or you will have zero tolerance.

I think the word 'badla' was meant primarily to show that there is zero tolerance to this kind of misdemeanours and crimes.

I would not fault Yogi Aditynath for using the word.

A tough message had to go to the people and the police that the time has come for having zero tolerance for suffering such kind of disturbance.

PRASANNA D ZORE / Rediff.com
SHARE THIS STORY