Joshi house arson case haunts DGPhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/joshi-house-arson-case-haunts-dgp/

Joshi house arson case haunts DGP

A day before Jain was to retire, CB-CID sought govt nod to lodge FIR against him

AK jain, CID
DGP A K Jain waves while coming out from Police Lines, where he was given a farewell with ritual parade (below) in Lucknow on Tuesday. He later got service extension. (Source: Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

On the day A K Jain was granted three-month extension as Uttar Pradesh DGP, a social activist released a letter purportedly sent by the Crime Branch-CID to the state government seeking permission for lodging a case against the senior IPS officer for allegedly not taking immediate action to stop the incident of arson at the house of Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi in 2009.

Jain was then posted as IG (Lucknow Range). The letter, sent by SP (CB-CID, Lucknow) to Secretary (Home) Mani Prasad Mishra — which was released by social activist Nutan Thakur — is dated March 30, 2015. It seeks permission for lodging a case against Jain under IPC Section 119 (public servant concealing design to commit offence which it is his duty to prevent). It has also demanded that Jain should be removed from his post.

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In the letter, the SP has mentioned that the evidence collected during the investigation of a case lodged at Hussainganj police station in connection with the arson at Joshi’s house also reveals the names of police officers and officials who were involved in the incident.

Pointing the role played by Jain, the letter says that as then IG, the IPS officer gave arson in VIP area less importance and instead went to Thakurganj where a woman had been evicted by her landlord.

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The letter claims that Jain had given a statement that he got a call from the woman, Savita Gupta, at midnight when he was near the personal residence of chief minister in Mall Avenue after leaving his residence. As per the statement, Jain, at that time was on way to Joshi’s residence, but instead decided to visit Gupta’s house.

“Even after having information of this sensitive incident, (he) inspected the spot of a less sensitive incident at 12.30 in the night and made a visit without there being any basis for investigation… (he) reached at the spot (Joshi’s residence) about one hour and fifteen minutes late…he was aware of the disturbance of peace after the objectionable statement of Ms Rita Bahuguna Joshi,” the letter states.

It says there was no point for an IG-rank officer to immediately reach the spot where a landlord had allegedly evicted a tenant.

The letter claims that even after bringing the alleged accused persons and those who stayed at Joshi’s house to Hazratganj police station and Mahila police station, Jain did not consider it necessary to either question them about those who committed the incident or get a gazetted officer to question and prepare an interrogation report.

It further says that Jain being a public servant and despite having complete information about the incident, did not make any attempt to stop the incident as a police officer, for which a case under IPC 119 read with 147/148/149/436/307/427/504 is made against him.

A case under IPC 114 and 119 is also made against nine other officials including then Lucknow DIG Prem Prakash, the letter states and adds that these officials, by being present at the spot, not only abetted the accused persons for this crime (arson) but also did not take any action against them.

When contacted, CB-CID DG Jagmohan Yadav declined to comment on the letter saying all communication between his agency and government is confidential. He said he will neither deny nor confirm the letter.

Secretary (Home) Mani Prasad Mishra also declined to comment. Principal Secretary (Home) could not be reached over phone.