NHRC threatened me with suspension: ACP tells panel on Disha case

‘Officials did not record what I had stated and picked up an argument with me’

The then Assistant Commissioner of Police (Shadnagar Division) Vasam Surender told the Supreme Court-appointed commission inquiring the alleged encounter of the four accused in the rape and murder of Disha on December 6, 2019, that he was threatened by officials of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) while taking his deposition.

Referring to the 15-page signed statements of Mr. Surender recorded by the NHRC, which was later submitted to the panel, the commission’s advocate Virupaksha Dattatreya Gouda asked, “Is this your statement before NHRC?”

“The signatures on all the pages are mine. I do not know what statement they have written. It was late in the night and they threatened me to a report against me saying that I would be suspended,” the officer said.

He also said that the NHRC officials did not record what he had stated and picked up an argument with him. “I stated something else and they wrote something else,” he said.

Responding to his answers, the commission members asked whether Mr. Surender or his department and the NHRC had any enmity. “I have no acquittance with them to know whether they have any enmity,” he replied.

The officer also said that details in his affidavit had some ‘gaps’ compared to his case diaries.

How is that, you have to explain that categorical statement made by you to the extent of disowning them whether in the statement recorded by the NHRC and signed by you and your own affidavit affirmed by you or the case diaries written by you? the panel members asked.

Mr. Surender responded that he did not make any mistakes in the case diaries and that was his interpretation in making those entries. “Insofar as the affidavit is concerned, the mistakes occurred because of the gaps between my instructions and the preparation of affidavit by the advocate. Insofar, the NHRC statement is concerned, it is not what I had stated, it was written by them on their own,” the officer said.

The officer went on to say that his statement recorded by the investigating officer and Rachakonda DCP (SOT) J Surender Reddy were ‘incorrect’.

“He is disowning all his previous statements,” the commission members commented.

Further, when he was asked which part was recorded ‘incorrectly’, the officer said he was not able to recall and he would answer as and when he remembers it.

“Probably, after we submit the report,” the commission’s chairman Justice V.S. Sirpurkar commented.

Earlier, Mr. Surender was questioned about the custody of the four accused, where, how and when their confessional statements were recorded, why were they not taken to the scene of the offence directly from the prison for recovery of material objects and why it took him 24 hours to reach the safe house after the accused were taken into custody.

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