The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday suspended the Superintendent of Police of Mahoba, Mani Lal Patidar, with immediate effect for alleged corruption. Action was taken against the 2014-batch IPS officer a day after a 44-year-old local businessman who had accused him of corruption and intimidation in a video, was attacked by unidentified assailants in Mahoba.
In the video, the businessman, Indra Kant Tripathi, had said that if he was attacked or killed, then Patidar and one Suresh Soni should be held responsible.
Tripathi suffered a bullet injury in his neck during the attack. He is undergoing treatment in Kanpur, where his condition is stated to be stable.
No FIR has been lodged in the case so far. “We are waiting for the victim’s family,” Additional Superintendent of Police, Mahoba, Veerendra Kumar, said. Inspector General, Chitrakoot Dham Range, K Satya Narayan, said the role of Mani Lal Patidar would also be investigated.
In a release issued on Wednesday, the government said that Patidar’s acts had maligned the image of the police force. The SP had been illegally demanding money for the running of vehicles engaged in ballast transportation – and when his demands was not met, vehicle owners were harassed by police.
The release did not refer to the businessman. Sources said the government has directed that a detailed inquiry should be conducted against Patidar.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Lucknow, Arun Kumar Srivastava has been asked to join as SP, Mahoba. During the period of his suspension, Patidar will be attached with the UP DGP headquarters.
The government had on Tuesday suspended Prayagraj Senior Superintendent of Police Abhishek Dixit on charges of negligence in controlling crime and maintaining and law and order, and corruption.
Indra Kant Tripathi, who belongs to Mahoba’s Karbi area, supplies explosives to people involved in the mining business. Around four months ago, his licence was cancelled by the Mahoba District Magistrate, and Tripathi had been in financial distress ever since, a police officer said.
Tripathi’s nephew Kamal Kant Tripathi told The Indian Express: “SP Mani Lal Patidar had asked my uncle to pay Rs 6 lakh per month for running his business. For two months, June and July, my uncle paid the money. But following losses in his business, he stopped paying.”
According to Kamal Kant, Tripathi went to meet the SP a few days ago, after he was asked to go by the station officer of Karbi police station, Devendra Shukla.
“Mani Lal Patidar told him that he had come to know that my uncle had started his business once again, but had not paid him (Patidar). My uncle told Patidar that this was not true – he had still not started his business, and remained unable to give him any money. The SP then started threatening my uncle, saying he would implicate him (Tripathi) in a false case, and would also get him killed. A local businessman, Suresh Soni, was present there,” Kamal Kant said.
After his meeting with the SP, Tripathi made a video and uploaded it on social media, Kamal Kant said. Tripathi also sent a complaint against Patidar to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the Chief Minister, and other state government officials, asking for an inquiry and the removal of the SP from his post.
In the video, Tripathi is heard saying: “Agar is dauraan meri hatya hoti hai toh meri hatya ke peeche police adhikari Mani Lal Patidar ji aur Suresh Soni putra Ram Gopal Soni niwasi Jawahar Nagar, Kabrai honge. Kyunki yeh dono log pichhle ek saal se mere peechhe pade hue hain, aur mujhe kisi tarah se todna chahte hain. (If I am killed during this period, SP Mani Lal Patidar and Suresh Soni, son of Ram Gopal Soni and resident of Jawahar Nagar, Kabrai, would be responsible. They have been harassing me since last year, and trying to break me.)”
IG, Devipatan Range, K Satya Narayan, said that Patidar has claimed that Tripathi was involved in a gambling racket, and was angry because the police had taken action against him.
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