The Election Commission (EC) Sunday “relieved” DCP, South East Delhi, Chinmoy Biswal from his post, apparently for poor handling of incidents of violence near Jamia Millia Islamia and Shaheen Bagh in recent days. Additional DCP, South East, Kumar Gyanesh, will take charge, the EC said.
The action followed a meeting of police officials with the EC on January 31, where the police officials are learnt to have been pulled up over handling of the law and order situation, especially in Shaheen Bagh, said sources.
Asked about the removal of Biswal, a senior EC officer admitted, “The Commission felt that the recent situations (near Jamia Millia and Shaheen Bagh) were not handled well.”
At the January 31 meeting, police sources said, “The Election Commission sternly asked the Delhi Police about the first firing incident (near Jamia) and told them that it is was very shocking that someone had fired in front of several policemen.”
The EC also frowned upon police not taking proactive action against Anurag Thakur, Minister of State (Finance), and MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma for inflammatory poll speeches, putting the onus on the EC instead. “EC officials reminded the Delhi Police that they have the power to take legal action against anyone as per the Indian Penal Code, and they don’t have to wait for the Commission’s directions,” an officer said.
Last week, Thakur, addressing a rally for the February 8 Delhi Assembly elections, had repeatedly raised the slogan of “Desh ke gaddaron ko” as the crowd responded with “goli maaro saalon ko”. The next day, Verma said protesters at Shaheen Bagh could “enter homes and rape our sisters and daughters”. Thakur was banned from campaigning for 72 hours, and Verma for 96 hours, by the EC.
At the meeting, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora is learnt to have also asked Biswal about the agitation at Shaheen Bagh, how it was affecting polling stations, and his plans to tackle the situation. “Biswal explained their strategy and alternative plans. EC officials asked him to make proper security arrangements,” the officer said.
It was under Biswal that police had barged into the Jamia campus on December 15 following violence during an anti-CAA protest, and assaulted students. Police had claimed they were chasing “rioters” who, after pelting stones and setting vehicles on fire, had rushed into the campus.
The past week saw incidents of firing at both Jamia and Shaheen Bagh. While a protester was injured when a 17-year-old shot at an anti-CAA protest at Jamia, a 25-year-old was held for firing shots at the Shaheen Bagh agitation site.
The EC statement Sunday said, “As decided by the Election Commission, this is to convey that Sh Chinmoy Biswal IPS (2008), DCP (South-East), stands relieved from his present post with immediate effect and shall report to MHA. In view of the ongoing situation, Commission directs that Sh Kumar Gyanesh, DANIPS (1997), Senior most Addl. DCP (South-East), shall take charge of DCP (South-East) immediately.”
The poll panel asked the Ministry of Home Affairs and Delhi Police Commissioner to send a panel of three names to it for posting as regular DCP (South-East).
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