Riots were ‘preventable,law was abused: Kiran Bedi

The truth is what happened in Muzaffarnagar was preventable,and reflects a blatant abuse of law by all authorities: Kiran Bedi

Written by Shikha Sharma | New Delhi | Published: September 19, 2013 5:02 am

Strongly denouncing “the partisan manner in which the political establishment misused the state police to foment disharmony and communal discord”,IPS-officer-turned social activist Kiran Bedi on Wednesday said there was evidence to prove the riots were ‘preventable’.

“The avoidable riots and loss of life in UP are glaring examples of how the political executive misused police for its own narrow and partisan end,even if it meant working against the larger interest of citizens. The truth is what happened in Muzaffarnagar was preventable,and reflects a blatant abuse of law by all authorities,” Bedi said.

Bedi was speaking at a conference by human rights organizations in the capital.

“People need to remember these riots were manufactured for someone else’s benefit. They should never have happened,especially at election time. The need is to ensure unnecessary political intervention doesn’t come in the way of good policing,” said Maya Daruwala,Director,CHRI.

Blaming ‘political and bureaucratic leadership equally’ for the failure,Bedi condemned the “government for miserably failing to protect its own people” and said “UP was living under Jungle Raj”.

“What happened in Muzaffarnagar puts a big question mark on police reforms. It draws attention to illegitimate nexus between police,politicians and outsiders. It is high time UP civil society asks for rule of law,” she said.

Urging the nation to ask for a “people’s police instead of ruler’s police,” the organizations demanded speedy implementation of the Supreme Court directive for police reform to ensure minimal political interference.

“Police should understand politicians will not protect them. The only defense for a policeman is shield of law,” said Daruwala.

“Muzaffarnagar is a case of rural policing gone bad. Had the rural police been strong enough,riots would have been curtailed then and there. There would not have been any need for the army to be called in,” she added.

“People of UP should vote prudently,rising above caste and religion,and only for someone who can guarantee adequate safety and security,” said Kamal Jaswal of the Common Cause.

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