Retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro, who was former Mumbai police commissioner, DGP Gujarat and Punjab, and former Indian Ambassador to Romania, has written to Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava, questioning the probe into the Northeast Delhi riots cases. More than 100 chargesheets have been filed and around 1,400 people have been arrested by the Delhi Police Crime Branch and Northeast District police in connection with the riots.
In his letter, Ribeiro has said that the Delhi Police is taking action against “peaceful protesters” while ignoring senior BJP leaders who made provocative, communal public speeches in the build-up to the violence. “True patriots” are being entangled in criminal cases, he wrote.
“I write to you with a heavy heart. As a true patriot and a former proud member of the Indian Police Service, I appeal to you to ensure a fair probe into the 753 FIRs registered against peaceful protesters who rightly apprehend injustices born from bias and hate against a minority community. The Delhi Police has taken action against peaceful protesters but deliberately failed to register cognizable offences against those who made hate speeches which triggered the riots in Northeast Delhi. It troubles sane and apolitical persons, like me, why Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma have not been arraigned before the courts of law while deeply hurt Muslim women, peacefully protesting against discriminations based on religion, were lodged for months together in jail,” he wrote.
“The not-so-subtle attempt by the Delhi Police to entangle true patriots, like Harsh Mander and Prof Apoorvanand, in criminal cases is another matter for concern. We, the police forces in the land, and its leadership drawn from the Indian Police Service, have a duty and obligation to respect the Constitution and the enacted laws, impartially without regard to caste, creed and political affiliations. Kindly revisit the actions of the police under your command in Delhi to determine if they have been true to their oaths taken at the time of their induction into service,” he said.
When contacted, Delhi Police spokesperson Dr Eish Singhal said, “An email purportedly sent by Sri Julio Ribeiro has been received today in which he has raised concerns regarding the investigation of Northeast Riots. Sri Ribeiro is a respected police officer. Since the officer in whose name the email has been received has not been in touch with Delhi Police in the recent times and especially in the past six months, we are trying to ascertain the veracity and the genuineness of the mail.”