New Delhi: The exchanges between retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro and Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava on Delhi riots investigation intensified on Wednesday with the former civil servant saying that if BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma were “Muslims or Leftists,” they would have been charged with sedition.
Responding to the Delhi police chief’s email reply to his earlier open letter, Ribeiro said Shrivastava had not addressed his “doubts” on why the three BJP leaders’ “hate speeches” were not being considered in the Delhi violence investigation.
“There are doubts in my original open letter which you have not addressed. I realise that it is difficult, indeed impossible, to justify the licence given to the three BJP stalwarts I named — licence to rant, rave and threaten those were peacefully protesting perceived wrongs. If the speakers were Muslims or Leftists, the police would have surely taken them in for sedition,” wrote Ribeiro, who had served as Mumbai police commissioner, and as Director General of Police in Gujarat and Punjab.
Further, prescribing what he would do to “dispel the doubts” raised by former civil servants if put in Shrivastava’s shoes, Ribeiro said, “I would quickly file the charge-sheets in all the 753 cases (in Northeast Delhi riots), including specially the Conspiracy case registered by your Special Cell and get the evidence authenticated in a Court of law.”
He added, “More pertinently I would not prolong the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) case by arresting persons just a day or two before the time limit expires for filing the charge-sheet.”
The former IPS officer further said that Shrivastava in his email had doubted the patriotism of three persons—activist Harsh Mander, professor Apoorvanand and Ribeiro himself—who were called “true patriots” in the open letter mentioned earlier.
“Harsh and Apoorvanand are Gandhians. I should have remembered that Gandhians have lost favour with this regime,” Ribeiro said taking a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government.
The Delhi Police Commissioner had on Tuesday defended his force in his email response to Ribeiro’s open letter saying the police force did not differentiate on the basis of caste or religion of a complainant.
“... It may be mentioned solely for the purpose of clearing any doubt in the minds of people questioning our probe, that more than 410 FIRs were registered on the complaints of minority community,” Shrivastava said, adding that “the other community” accounted for around 190 FIRs.
“I assure you that we in Delhi Police are serving the oath and the Constitution with conviction, integrity and sensitivity, without fear of any self-proclaimed “true patriots” or favour towards any class, creed or community,” the commissioner further said.
Ribeiro had written a letter to Shrivastava on September 12 questioning the Delhi police’s investigation into the communal violence that left over 50 people dead in Northeast Delhi in February.
Appealing Shrivastava to “ensure a fair probe into the 753 FIRs registered against peaceful protesters,” Ribeiro underlined that it troubled him why BJP leaders like Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma and Anurag Thakur have not been “arraigned before the Courts of law”.
A day after Ribeiro’s letter, eight other former IPS officers too wrote to the Delhi Police chief echoing similar concerns while seeking a reinvestigation of all the cases connected to the riots.