SHO & SI in basti suspended: SP moved out after woman alleges police harassment

SI got ‘fake FIRs’ filed against the complainant’s family

The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday transferred Basti Superintendent of Police (SP) Hemraj Meena while an inquiry committee suspended two police officers, including a sub-inspector (SI) who has been accused by a woman of making advances at her and getting false FIRs registered against her family after she rejected him.

SI Deepak Singh and inspector Rampal Yadav were suspended by a fact-finding committee headed by Additional Director General of Police (Gorakhpur zone) Akhil Kumar that visited the village of Sonupar and talked to the woman’s family and the local people.

Meena has been attached to the office of the Director-General of Police (DGP). He has been replaced by SP (Intelligence Headquarters) Ashish Srivastava.

Last June, during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, Singh allegedly stopped the woman on a road for not wearing a mask. He is accused of taking her phone number and sending objectionable messages. When the woman objected, he allegedly threatened to file fake FIRs against her and her family. Following an argument in the village over a road, the police officer allegedly got several FIRs registered against the woman’s family. The woman then complained to the State Women Commissioner and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Following directions from the home department, an inquiry was conducted.

“The SP has been transferred by the government while we have suspended concerned Station House Officer
[SHO] Rampal Yadav and the accused SI Deepak Singh on Saturday. This was after a fact-finding team, including me, Basti Divisional Commissioner, Basti DM, and IG Basti (Range), went to the village and talked to the locals. The reason behind suspending the SI is that we have prima facie found his fault in the matter. There are some pieces of evidence coming up and the investigation is on,” said Akhil Kumar.

The fact-finding team also met the woman’s family and talked to villagers. Kumar told the media that a report would be prepared and submitted to the state government within four days.

The woman told the media, “The police have caused a lot of injustice to us and have brought us on the verge of suicide. The entire police force is against us and only the State Women Commission is listening to our complaints…Chowki in-charge SI Deepak Kumar Singh is the main culprit. During mask checking, he took my phone number and started sending me objectionable texts. When I blocked him, he got furious and got eight FIRs registered against my family. My entire family is destroyed and marriages in our family are getting cancelled.

On Friday, Hemraj Meena had painted a different picture of what had transpired. He told reporters that in an earlier police investigation the woman’s allegations were found to be false. According to the former SP, on June 13 last year a revenue team went to the area of Pokhar Bhitwa to measure a road, but was hindered by villagers. Deepak Singh, the officer in charge of the local police outpost, then went to the spot. However, some men and women allegedly took the revenue team and the policeman hostage.

“The control came to know about this and another team was sent to the spot. An FIR was registered at the Kotwali police station for rioting, attempt to murder, intentional insult, wrongful confinement, theft after the preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to commit theft, voluntarily causing hurt, and more, against more than seven persons, including the woman. Another FIR was registered against them [woman’s family members] on June 18 by one Anant Singh, and another FIR by Hausila Singh later in September in land-related disputes,” Meena added.

The former Basti SP after the woman’s allegations against Singh came to the fore he asked Additional SP Ravindra Kumar Singh to conduct an investigation. Meena added, “He found that the allegations weren’t true… The woman has provided prints of some WhatsApp chats allegedly with Deepak Singh, but when checked the number was not found to be of Deepak Singh. But as prima facie there seems to be a case of indiscipline, I sent the SI to the police lines. He later got a transfer to Kushinagar airport…The allegations made by the woman are not true. On the allegation that the FIRs against her and her family are fake, several locals in their statement confirmed that the family had some land-related disputes with other villagers.”

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