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India's elite Police into serious violation of Law, says JTSA report

 

Monday June 09, 2014

JAMIA, DELHI POLICE, COUNTER TERRORISM, LAW OF INDIA  
 

"In the Dhaula Kuan fake encounter case, the Court was of the opinion that, ‘there cannot be any more serious or grave crime than a police officer framing an innocent citizen in a false criminal case,’ while mentioning further that ‘ Such tendency in the police officers should not be viewed or dealt with lightly but needs to be curbed with a stern hand.’ Acquitting an alleged terrorist of the Peoples' Liberation Army of Manipur, the Court concluded that ‘the police got him targeted to become a victim of this crime.

 

Basudev Mahapatra

 
 

A report titled ‘Framed, Damned, Acquitted: Dossier of a ‘very’ Special Cell’ published by Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (JTSA) brings to public how India’s most effective and powerful Delhi Police is into serious violation of human rights and constitutional laws of India.

The report documents 16 cases, primarily, of those arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police and were accused of being operatives and agents of various terrorist organizations (Al Badr, HUJI, Lashkar), and charged with the most heinous of crimes like sedition, war against the state, criminal conspiracy, planning and causing bomb blasts, training of terrorists, collection of arms, ammunition and explosives and the transfer of funds for terrorist activities.

 

The penalties demanded by the police and prosecution in these cases were also, correspondingly, the most severe: in most cases, life sentence or the death penalty. However between 1992 and 2012 a large number of those arrested were acquitted of all charges by the courts.

While documenting the story of these acquittals, the report draws primarily on the court judgments and, also, on media reports of the arrests and the trial that followed. The evidence presented by the report shows clearly that the acquittals were not simply for want of evidence but, as judgment after judgment commented on, because of the manner in which the so-called evidence provided by the police and the prosecution was tampered with and fabricated, and because story after story as presented by the prosecution was unreliable, incredulous, and appeared as concocted.

The report ‘Framed, Damned, Acquitted’ also mentions instances where the courts clearly indict the Special Cell for framing innocents; reprimanding them for violating due process and fabricating evidence; ordering a CBI probe against the Special Cell, as well as directing the filing of FIR and the initiation of departmental enquiries against them. In the Dhaula Kuan fake encounter case, the Court was of the opinion that, ‘there cannot be any more serious or grave crime than a police officer framing an innocent citizen in a false criminal case,’ while mentioning further that ‘ Such tendency in the police officers should not be viewed or dealt with lightly but needs to be curbed with a stern hand.’ Acquitting an alleged terrorist of the Peoples' Liberation Army of Manipur, the Court concluded that ‘the police got him targeted to become a victim of this crime.’

The CBI investigating the apprehension of alleged operatives of Al Badr by the Special Cell was withering in its conclusions and sought ‘legal action against SIs Vinay Tyagi, Subhash Vats and Ravinder Tyagi’ for fabrication of evidence.

However, as the report says, ‘Not a single officer in any of the operations described here has suffered criminal proceedings for the framing of innocents. Adverse observations, strictures and censures from the court have not come in the way of promotions, gallantry awards and President's medals. Even after the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) indicted ACP Sanjeev Yadav – a figure who will surface regularly in these pages – for staging an encounter in Sonia Vihar in 2006, he continues to head probes as crucial and sensitive as the attack on the Israeli diplomat in Delhi.’

‘These men – whose cases we document here – were acquitted. Yet they all unjustly suffered the most harrowing of experiences for varying lengths of time, illegal detention and torture (physical and psychological), incarceration and trial. Acquittals were by no means the end of their tragedy for they returned from their experience to a different world, their Businesses were destroyed, family members were broken having suffered the humiliation and trauma of being associated with ‘terrorists’, children had to abandon their studies and the normality of everyday life while parents passed away in grief and despair. Some cases like that of young Md. Amir Khan, which was a practically open and shut case, where the prosecution had virtually no leg to stand on, got drawn out for 14 painful and long years,’ said the Report published by JTSA while describing the plight of victimised innocent citizens of India.

In such a case of victimisation of an innocent, when human rights activists or families of those arrested on charges of terrorism allege foul play on part of the investigating agencies, the usual response and views of the rest of the society remains no sympathetic or encouraging to the struggle for one’s rights but morally discouraging, observes the report.

‘The 16 cases we present here are only the proverbial tip of the iceberg, and simply indicative of the extent of the malaise affecting our policing and criminal justice system,’ said the report in its preface while questioning the credibility of a force that is touted as one of the most elite counter-terrorism agencies in the country asking in its final page ‘if we can trust an agency that has been implicated in a series of frame-ups of innocents.’

 
 

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