January 25 encounter: Noida admin eyes witness to carry out ‘fair probe’

With questions being raised on the Uttar Pradesh anti-terrorism squad’s encounter of two alleged militants here on the eve of Republic Day...

Written by Pragya Kaushika | Noida | Published:February 8, 2009 12:34 am

With questions being raised on the Uttar Pradesh anti-terrorism squad’s (ATS) encounter of two alleged militants here on the eve of Republic Day,the Noida administration is trying to make the magisterial inquiry appear transparent and fair.

The city magistrate has now issued pamphlets and notices,to be pasted on important locations across the city,asking the public to contribute towards a fair magisterial inquiry.

A notice signed by Sanjay Chauhan,City Magistrate,Gautam Budh Nagar,and pasted outside his office welcomes any eyewitness willing to speak about the late-night encounter. “As ordered by the district magistrate,the inquiry into the encounter,which took place on January 25,will need support from the public,” the notice,in Hindi,states. “Any person who had witnessed the encounter and wishes to speak regarding it would be most welcome.

“Anyone who would like to put his/her side of the story about the incident can visit me on any working day. Their statements would be recorded for official use and help us conduct a detailed inquiry into the veracity of the encounter.”

Eyewitnesses can give the details in written or verbally and can bring evidence,if any,to Chauhan’s office,the notice says.

Copies of the notice have been marked to all senior officers and relevant departments.

Chauhan told Newsline that coordination with the public is part of the process of inquiry. “There could be possibilities that the anti-terrorism squad hid relevant facts from us,” he said. “After we get evidence from witnesses,the inquiry becomes more transparent and fair. But a witness has to submit (any evidence) by February 25,as the 30-day period given to us to complete the report will get over that day.”

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