Arson at Joshi House: Two fresh FIRs, ex-DIG among 23 cops bookedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/arson-at-joshi-house-two-fresh-firs-ex-dig-among-23-cops-booked/

Arson at Joshi House: Two fresh FIRs, ex-DIG among 23 cops booked

Those booked include then Lucknow DIG Prem Prakash and then Additional SP (ASP) Harish Kumar, according to Singh.

Rita Bahuguna Joshi
Rita Bahuguna Joshi

The UP Police’s Crime Branch CID (CB-CID) lodged two fresh FIRs against 24 policemen in the case of alleged arson and rioting at the house of former state Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi in July 2009.

Those booked include then Lucknow DIG Prem Prakash and then Additional SP (ASP) Harish Kumar, according to Station House Officer, Hussainganj police station, Shiv Shankar Singh.

The attack on Joshi’s residence took place after she reportedly made derogatory remarks against then UP chief minister Mayawati in Moradabad.

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The FIRs lodged by Inspector Mritunjay Singh of the Lucknow branch of the CB-CID, states that the 24 policemen are accused of facilitating the perpetrators on and rioting at Joshi’s house and subsequently implicating five innocents in the to indulge in arscase by holding them accused for the crime.

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Earlier, the agency in 2011 had arrested then BSP MLA Jitendra Singh Babloo and then president of Ganna Vikas Sansthan and BSP leader Intezar Abidi ‘Bobby’, who was a minister of state in this case. Both are presently out on bail.

The five “innocents” were later released from jail after CB-CID filed an application in the court stating that they were falsely implicated in the case. During investigation, the agency had learnt that three of these five persons were brought to the Hussainganj police station from Cantonment police station where they were detained over some other matter, while the other two were caught in a petty crime there, a senior official of the CB-CID.

The official said the police caught five persons without verifying or questioning them, and claimed that they were involved in the arson. This act by senior police officials show that they had connivance in implicating the five persons in the case, the official said.

The official said that the agency found that on July 15, 2009, the then Circle Officer (CO) of Hazratganj area, B S Gabryal, then SHO of Hussainganj police station Baliram Saroj and five constables reached Joshi’s house, and took away eight of its occupants on the pretext of discussing security issues with the DIG at Hazratganj police station.

Soon after this, a group of men barged into Joshi’s house and set it on fire after ransacking it. The investigation revealed that the occupants of the house were shifted allegedly to facilitate the perpetrators for arson.

The first FIR is lodged against nine policemen including then DIG Prem Prakash (now an IG), then ASP (East) Harish Kumar (now on SP rank), then CO and then SHO under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 457 (lurking house-trepass or house-breaking by night in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 442 (house trepass), 118 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life) and 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment).

The second case is filed against 15 policemen which include the same officials under IPC sections 120 B (conspiracy), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object, 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save from punishment or property from forfeiture), 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person) and 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement).