Updated: July 3, 2021 8:24:28 am
Among those who have sent a request to be considered for ‘President’s Police Medal for Gallantry’ from Delhi Police ranks is former DCP, Northeast Delhi, Ved Prakash Surya, who was photographed standing alongside BJP leader Kapil Mishra as the latter gave a controversial speech at a pro-CAA rally on February 23 last year, a day before riots broke out in Northeast Delhi.
Surya has sought the award saying he had saved the lives of hundreds of people as well as properties and performed “extraordinary” work during the riots.
Around 25 police officers, including Surya, his JCP Alok Kumar and subordinates have put their case before the headquarters for the award. Sources said most of them have cited their role during the riots.
The President’s Police Medal for Gallantry is awarded for acts of “saving life and property”, or “in preventing crime or arresting criminals”.
“The proposal is sent from the district to the police headquarters, where it is put up before a committee of senior officers and finally approved by the Delhi Police Commissioner. The file is next sent to the Home Department and then the Union Ministry of Home Affairs,” a senior police officer said.
Sources said Surya had applied a few days ago, and his application had been forwarded to the headquarters along with that of 24 police officers.
“Besides this, 23 police personnel have applied for ‘Asadharan Karya Puraskar’ and 14 for out-of-turn-promotions,” a source said.
Sources said that in his application, Surya has claimed to have controlled the riots within three-four days. He talks of his “courageous efforts in saving lives of hundreds of people”, including in response to phone calls for help, and says he wasn’t deterred despite stone-pelting.
Mishra had tweeted a video of his February 23, 2020, speech to a pro-CAA gathering near the Maujpur traffic signal, in which then DCP, Northeast, Surya can be seen standing next to him. In the speech, the BJP leader said, “The DCP is standing in front of us and on your behalf, I want to tell him that till the US President (Donald Trump) is in India, we are leaving the area peacefully. After that, we won’t listen to you (police) if the roads are not vacated (by the CAA protesters) by then. We will have to take to the streets.”
On February 24 this year, Surya was transferred from Northeast district to Rashtrapati Bhavan as DCP. Contacted by The Indian Express, he refused to comment.
Following the riots, then Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava, who retired just days ago, had given out-of-turn promotion to four police personnel posted with the Special Cell for their work during the violence. The four incidentally had been part of the investigating team that arrested 21, including former JNU student Umar Khalid, Jamia Coordination Committee’s media coordinator Safoora Zargar and Pinjra Tod’s Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, linking their protests against the CAA to the riots.
A senior police officer said, “Last month, Head Constable Hamendra Rathi was also given out-of-turn promotion for getting crucial information leading to the arrest of Haseen Qureshi, who allegedly killed IB staffer Ankit Sharma during the Delhi riots.
At the Delhi Police chief’s annual press conference on February 19 this year, Shrivastava had praised his force’s role in the riots, saying, “A total of 755 FIRs were registered and we made it a point that no one had a grievance that their complaint was not acknowledged.”
Referring to the riots during an annual review, DCP (Special Cell) Pramod Kushwah and DCP (Crime) Joy Tirkey had mentioned a clash at Maujpur between pro-CAA and anti-CAA protesters, saying “the situation worsened” after this.
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