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Home / India / Jahangirpuri clash: Delhi force draws fire from veterans

Cops did not take firm action: Ex-IB director

Jahangirpuri clash: Delhi force draws fire from veterans

Former police commissioner asks why the 'shobha yatra' was allowed to proceed despite having no permission
Journalists on Tuesday asked Delhi police special commissioner Dependra Pathak why cops were present along the route of the procession if there was no permission to organise the shobha yatra.
Journalists on Tuesday asked Delhi police special commissioner Dependra Pathak why cops were present along the route of the procession if there was no permission to organise the shobha yatra.
File photo

Imran Ahmed Siddiqui   |   New Delhi   |   Published 20.04.22, 02:15 AM

Retired intelligence and police officers have accused Delhi police of failing to take timely action against armed and belligerent participants of an unauthorised procession, a “dubious” role they said precipitated the communal flare-up during a Hanuman Jayanti event in the capital’s Jahangirpuri on Saturday.

“It is very clear that Delhi police did not take firm action against members of the procession who could be seen in several videos openly carrying guns and swords. The police failed to act against them even when the procession stopped in front of a mosque and some participants chanted provocative slogans. Had they acted against the mischief-makers with an iron hand, there would have been no violent clashes between the two communities,” a former Intelligence Bureau director told The Telegraph.

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A former Delhi police commissioner said the first and foremost question was why the “shobha yatra” was allowed to proceed despite having no permission. Eight persons were injured in stone-pelting and firing during the violence.

“This is totally unacceptable and a high-level probe should be ordered to fix responsibility. Violence broke out after it passed a mosque. It was an illegal procession and the police did nothing to stop it,” he said.

A former DIG of the CRPF, the country’s largest paramilitary force, said Delhi police’s role had been “dubious”, adding that the force, which reports to the Union home ministry, had failed to perform its primary duty.

“The role of Delhi police in the entire matter is very dubious. They should not have allowed the illegal procession to carry on. What happened to its intelligence? How can such a thing be allowed to happen in the national capital where all central agencies are present?” he asked.

On Tuesday, journalists asked Delhi police special commissioner Dependra Pathak why cops were present along the route of the procession if there was no permission to organise the shobha yatra.

Pathak responded: “The police have a focused role of maintaining law and order. If any situation erupts, then we have to see to it that the situation does not worsen and that’s the reason adequate policemen were there. Delhi police were able to control the situation in the minimum possible time.”

The police have also been accused of partiality in their investigation and shielding the actual perpetrators of the violence as the majority of those arrested so far belong to a particular community. The police have arrested over 20 people, including two minors, on the charges of rioting and unlawful assembly.

“Why have Delhi police so far not revealed categorically how many people who were part of the procession and were seen brandishing arms and swords have been arrested? What action have they taken against the organisers for holding an illegal procession?” the retired CRPF DIG asked.

CPM politburo member Brinda Karat on Monday wrote to Delhi police commissioner Rakesh Asthana urging him to act against the police personnel who had allowed procession participants to carry weapons, were responsible for the lack of adequate arrangements, permitted the rally to stop in front of the mosque, and were conducting a biased investigation.

Delhi police on Monday appeared to balk at a threat from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to launch “a battle” against the force if any action was taken against its activists in connection with the Hanuman Jayanti procession in Jahangirpuri.

The police had initially registered an FIR against the organisers for holding the procession without permission, and were said to have arrested a person identified as Prem Sharma, a local VHP leader. Later, however, the police retracted and said the Indian Penal Code’s Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) was a bailable offence and Sharma, who the force claimed had joined the investigation, had been allowed to leave after questioning.

A senior police officer on Tuesday said an FIR had been registered against two men from the Delhi units of the VHP and the Bajrang Dal for organising the shobha yatra without permission. “There has been no arrest so far in the case,” he said. 

He, however, refused to disclose the identities of the two suspects named in the FIR.



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