On July 15, the Indian Express in its report, “Resentment in Hindus on arrests, take care: Special CP to probe teams”, had claimed that the Special Commissioner of Police (Crime) Praveer Ranjan had written to senior police officers heading probe teams that the arrest of “some Hindu youth” from areas in North-East Delhi, where the Delhi riots took place in February, has led to a “degree of resentment among the Hindu community”.
The report claimed that the Special CP Praveer Ranjan in his order dated July cited an “intelligence input” about the riot-related arrests of “some Hindu youth from Chand Bagh and Khajuri Khas areas of Northeast Delhi”.
According to Indian Express, the order stated that “community representatives are alleging that these arrests are made without any evidence and are even insinuating that such arrests are being made for some personal reasons.”
The order allegedly went on to name two Muslim men to state, “In the same area, resentment among Hindu community is also reported for alleged police inaction against the two, who are alleged to have been involved in mobilising members of the Muslim community during Delhi riots and anti-CAA protests”.
The report further stated that police officers involved in the investigation were advised to conduct thorough investigations, gather evidence and not make “arbitrary” arrests.
“Due care and precaution be taken while arresting any person. All evidences including direct and technical evidences be properly analysed and that all the arrests are backed by sufficient evidence be ensured. No arbitrary arrest should be made in any case and all evidences must be discussed with Special PPs (public prosecutors) assigned for each case. Supervisory officers ACPs/DCPs — SIT & Additional CP/Crime (Headquarters) may guide the IOs (investigating officers) suitably,” the Delhi Police order stated as reported by Indian Express.
Delhi Police responds to Indian Express report
On Thursday, the Delhi Police issued a detailed response to the Indian Express report, rejecting its claims as “highly misleading and sensation-seeking”. The Delhi Police in its rejoinder to Indian Express said that the tone and tenor of the report were misleading and gave the impression that the Delhi Police was highly biased.
“It is best a sensation seeking and hollow news article, devoid of understanding of police working,” the Delhi Police slammed Indian Express for its purported claims on the Anti-Hindu riots investigations.
Responding to this report, Delhi Police PRO Mandeep S Randhawa categorically stated that they have been constantly fed with information obtained through representations from members of public and other intelligence inputs from its own intelligence wings and other agencies.
Delhi Police’s Rejoinder to the above News Article 👇 pic.twitter.com/qk7PVflZGx— #DilKiPolice Delhi Police (@DelhiPolice) July 15, 2020
“It has to take note of this information in an unbiased manner… The news item conveniently ignores the spirit of the order where it has been specifically stated that ‘any arrest’, irrespective of any class, community or religious group,be done on the basis of evidence and not give an impression of being arbitrary,” the rejoinder read.
The Delhi Police also clarified that the letter written by Special CP Ranjan was only to inform the investigating officers about the representations being received from both the communities and to sensitize and guide them through the investigation of these cases.
“During the incidents of rioting in North-East District of Delhi, Delhi Police has acted in an impartial manner as per provisions of law and the victims were rescued irrespective of their caste and religion,” the Delhi Police said.
The Delhi Police also said that they were mindful of the fact that any police action is seen by the people through their own prism and added that it should be solely based on the ‘evidence’ available, which adequately justified the arrests made in the case.
“The supervisory officers have been specifically directed to ensure professionalism and integrity of investigation. the order mentions about the intelligence input received in this regard to sensitize the officers as these cases are highly sensitive nature and the investigators must exercise due caution and care to ensure that all the actions of the police are transparent and evidence based. there is nothing mentioned in the order that warrants a write up to sensationalism,” the Delhi Police rejoinder said rejecting the claims made by the Indian Express insinuating that they were favouring one community.
Further, the Delhi Police also stated that three SITs have been constituted to investigate professionally and all evidences are being adduced before concluding any case.
In its letter, the Delhi Police also asked the Indian Express to kindly publish the rejoinder to put the facts in perspective for the readers.
Indian Express says its stands by its report
Meanwhile, the Indian Express has responded to the Delhi Police rejoinder to claim that their article accurately reported an order issued by Special Commissioner of Police Praveer Ranjan to senior officers investigating the Anti-Hindu Delhi riots. They also said that a detailed questionnaire was sent to Delhi Police Special Commissioner Ranjan and PRO Randhawa seeking their response.
“The Delhi Police’s contention in their joinder that “the letter was written only to inform investigating officers about the representations being received from both communities” does not find mention in the order, which specifically highlights “resentment among Hindu community” over arrests of some Hindu youth,” wrote Indian Express in its clarification to state that it stands by its report.