THE SHO of the Gonda Police Station in Aligarh was suspended and the Superintendent of Police, Aligarh Rural Area, transferred on Wednesday after BJP workers led by Aligarh MP Satish Gautam protested at the police station, claiming mishandling by the police of party MLA Rajkumar Sahyogi. The police said the SHO had told them the Iglas MLA hit him first.
Later in the day, Sahyogi and Gautam pointed out that action had been taken against SHO Anuj Kumar and SP Atul Sharma in a “record five hours”, on the personal intervention of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Gautam said the SHO would not get a posting for the entirety of his service.
The incident between Sahyogi and Gonda Police Station personnel allegedly happened on Wednesday morning. Sahyogi had arrived at the police station over an August 2 clash between two communities, including an ABVP worker. Later in the day, he returned to the police station with a huge group of BJP workers and Gautam, and told the media that SHO Kumar and other policemen had beaten him up. He claimed that he had tried to reason with the SHO earlier too on the matter, but that he didn’t listen. “We want justice,” Sahyogi said.
As the BJP men refused to leave, Adityanath directed DGP H C Awasthy to take “immediate action” and hold a probe into the entire episode. Awasthy ordered suspension of the SHO and recommended transfer of the SP. He also asked the Aligarh Range IG to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit a report by Thursday.
Circle Officer (CO) of Iglas area Parashuram Singh told The Indian Express that the SHO had said the MLA first misbehaved with the sentry on duty, and that when the SHO objected to it, Sahyogi had slapped him and hurled abuses.
Sahyogi denied he had misbehaved with any police official.
On August 2, ABVP worker Rohit Varshney had been involved in a clash between two communities. The Aligarh district president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Mukesh Lodhi, claimed that while Varshney was injured and had to be hospitalised, police had lodged a cross-FIR against him. “On the other hand, no action was being taken in the FIR registered by Varshney. The MLA had therefore gone to the police station, when policemen misbehaved with him,” Lodhi said.
The Iglas CO told The Indian Express that after the August 2 clash, the FIR by one community had been registered the same day, and the cross-FIR by the other community on August 3. About Wednesday’s incident, Parashuram Singh said, “The SHO has alleged that the MLA first misbehaved with the chowkidar at the police station, and then abused and slapped him.”
Commending the state government’s swift action against the police officers, MP Gautam said, “The SP’s transfer, the SHO’s transfer are a result of the scuffle, manhandling that took place. Jeevan mein charge nahi milega, vibhagi karyawahi hogi. Wardi toh pehnega, charge nahin milega. Yeh uski book mein likha jayega (He — meaning the SHO — won’t get any post in his lifetime, there will be a departmental inquiry. He will continue to wear the uniform but not get a post. This would be entered in his service records).”
IG, Aligarh Zone, Deepak Ratan, who is probing the incident, told The Indian Express, “Both parties have put up their sides and it would all be part of the inquiry now.”
ADG, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar also refused to say more on the allegation that the MLA had hit the SHO first, apart from the fact that it would be part of the probe.
In its statement, the state government said, “Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed District General of Police to take effective action by taking cognizance of the incident that has taken place with the Iglas MLA. Following which Director General of Police has ordered suspension of the concerned Station House Officer with immediate effect.”
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