The investigating officer in an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest violence case in Bijnor district has been suspended for allegedly adding the names of three to four people as accused in the chargesheet without the approval of supervising officers, the police said on Saturday.
In a statement, SP Dharm Veer Singh said Sub-Inspector Naresh Pal was suspended on Thursday in connection with the investigation into a case that had been filed in December. Pal allegedly added the extra names despite not receiving the approval of the Additional Superintendent of Police (Rural), the Circle Officer (CO) of Dhampur, and the Station House Officer (SHO) of Bijnor Kotwali city station.
Dharm Veer Singh said, “He instead got the approval to register the chargesheet] from another CO who does not have jurisdiction in the case.”
The SP told The Sunday Express, “He filed the chargesheet last month in the court without notifying the concerned officers. This is a breach of protocol and hence, he was suspended on Thursday.”
Singh said about 30 people were named in the chargesheet. “An inquiry has been ordered and a reply has been sought from the IO and the CO who approved the filing of the chargesheet. The inquiry will be done by ASP (Crime) Anit Kumar,” he added.
“I can’t say whether the people whose names the IO added were involved in the violence or not. If he has added the names, they must have had some involvement. He has been suspended because he broke the protocol,” Singh said.
The case that Pal investigated was lodged on December 21, 2019, under IPC sections for rioting, criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly and Criminal Law Amendment Act. It was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by a hotel manager identified as Gaurav Kumar. The hotel is in the Kotwali (city) station’s jurisdiction. The FIR was lodged against 200 to 250 unidentified people.
Kumar’s complaint read, “Around 3 pm on December 20, 2019… along with some colleagues, I was present at the hotel when around 200-250 people with rods, sticks, iron swords, stones and bricks came near the hotel while vandalising properties on both sides of the road. Then, they entered my hotel and vandalised the insides and also vehicles parked outside. People present at the hotel were injured in the violence, and there was chaos in the area and we somehow escaped fearing a riot between communities. I came to the police station. The 33 people apprehended by police were involved in the violence and vandalism and I can recognise them. There were others too involved and I will be able to recognise them.”