Jamia Nagar Foiled "Encounter" Attempt Errant Cops Transferred - Some Observations & Questions

. 10/24/08

The Noida policemen who came to Shaheen Bagh area in Jamia Nagar on October 16 without informing the local police and in a car with no number plate and tried to pick a youth were transferred on Monday.

While Station House Officer of Sector-58 Police Station (Noida) Ramsen Singh has been transferred to the Police Lines, Sub-Inspector Ajay Pal and Constables Kulwinder singh and Vijayveer have been transferred to the Economics Offence Wing of Varanasi. The Sector-58 Police Station confirmed to media that the transfer has been made by the orders of the higher authorities.

The day after the incident, the Delhi Police had written a letter to the Noida Police to explain why it raided an area out of its jurisdiction without informing the local police.

It is learnt that senior police officers of Uttar Pradesh and also the state government took the matter seriously and decided to transfer the guilty officers.

Station House Officer of Jamia Nagar Police Station, Iqbal Ahmad, said that the action against the Noida policemen has been taken for their role in the Shaheen Bagh incident.

Asked whether the transfer is just to protect the guilty officers from further punishment, he said the transfer is just a preliminary action and the investigation is going on.

A team of Noida policemen in civil dress had entered the Shaheen Bagh area in the night of October 16 and tried to force a youth Aamir in their black Verna car carrying no registration number. As the youth began crying locals gathered. Seeing the car without number and the men in civil dress they doubted the purpose of the ‘abductors.’ They prevented the men, which the Delhi Police and Noid Police later confirmed were Noida policemen, from picking the youth. The locals were also able to catch a policeman while others fled the scene. The policeman caught by the public identified himself as Sub-Inspector of Noida Police. The man and the car were brought to Jamia Nagar Police Station. Hundreds of locals gathered at the station and demanded action against the guilty policemen. Many said their purpose was to kidnap the youth and later kill him in a fake encounter and declare him a terrorist.

The Noida Police, however, said the team was trailing the youth Aamir who was wanted in several criminal cases including snatching in Ghaziabad. But they didn’t explain why they came in civil dress and in a car with no registration number to nab a petty criminal.

Several PAN cards and ATM cards were found in the car. The PAN cards belong to Yogesh Pal Singh, Jitender Chopra and Paiti Singh (a woman). Besides, an ATM card of Axis Bank was in the name of Yogesh Pal Singh. Another ATM card of Punjab National Bank was in the name of Prakash Sikendra. The jurisdiction of all PAN cards is Delhi.

It is interesting that no PAN card, ATM card and three IDs of an IT company matches to the name of the policemen transferred. The Verna car is still lying in the premises of Jamia Nagar Police Station. None has so far come to claim it. There is much to be investigated in the case. Only a thorough probe will bring out the truth.

Observations and Questions:

Strange thing about the Shaheen Bagh kidnapping incident is the behavior of the policemen who attempted to kidnap Aamir but even stranger is the behavior of Indian media covering this news. In this particular case UP police is guilty for many unlawful acts and media by not giving the attention it deserves did injustice to the citizens of India.

The heroes of this incident are the residents of Jamia Nagar who were stern but did not take law in their hands; they handed over the car and the captured cop to the local police, thus preventing a bad situation from turning ugly. But this incident provides an excellent opportunity for the police and journalists to redeem themselves by doing the right thing, this time around.

It all started on the night of Oct 16th around 8pm. A black Hyundai car with tinted windows pulled up in Shaheen Bagh area of Jamia Nagar. According to eyewitnesses, they attempted to drag a Muslim youth Mohd Aamir in their car. Aamir resisted and shouted for help, local residents with memories of arrests and encounter still fresh in their mind soon gathered around and asked questions to the alleged kidnappers. They claimed that they are UP police but refused to show any identification. None of them were in uniform and people later told journalists that they could smell alcohol on them.

A crowd gathered and they called the area leaders to tell them about the situation. Leaders instead of provoking the people called the local police. Meanwhile under the cover of darkness and confusion, some of the “kidnappers” slipped away. One who was holding Aamir was in the middle of the crowd and was thus unable to flee. Instead of manhandling him, residents handed him and the car over to the Delhi Police. The concerned residents followed the police to the Jamia Nagar police station and did not leave until a complaint was filed.

Delhi police contacted UP police and told the crowd that they did confirm that these were indeed UP cops following on some information. Electronic media that was present there at night completely blacked out the news but on Saturday some newspapers published the news of the incidents but all those stories became simply news of how residents resisted UP police. Journalists who can easily get exclusive information from unnamed sources on terrorism cases, it seems were simply not interested in this story.

Those journalists who did attempt to cover it first asked if Aamir had a criminal history. In private conversations, one journalist who did say that it was ‘unlawful act’ showed no surprise saying that it was simply police work and that’s how they operate.

Remarkable thing was that none of the reports in English media asked what the UP cops were doing in an unmarked car with no license plate trying to grab a person from the street. Even if Aamir is a person with criminal history, shouldn’t police be trying to uphold the rule of law?

After the incident UP police started spinning their yarn and came out with the story that Aamir snatched someone’s chain in Noida and UP police chased him from there to Shaheen Bagh. Even if it is true but question still stands why they were on duty but without uniform and once they have crossed into Delhi why they did not inform police whose jurisdiction they were in.

If you ask Jamia residents, and this is important, a majority believed that they were there to kidnap Aamir to finish him off in another fake encounter. It is not too difficult to imagine why residents thought like that. They are still fresh with the memory of the encounter that happened in their midst and saw two youths and one police officer dead. They can be excused for being in a state of heightened alert. But what is remarkable is that even with that fresh memory and here a suspicious gang of people claiming to be police and trying to kidnap a Muslim youth but still they did not do anything to break the law.

They did break windshields of the car but other than that they never did cross the line of decency or law. They were well within the democratic right to hold the suspicious person claiming to be UP police but no identification to prove it. Responsibly they called their leaders and local police and handed over the car and the cop to them.

Delhi police registered the complaint of Aamir regarding attempted kidnapping on him. Jamia Nagar police station was full of residents of the area but there was no shouting or speeches to emotionally charge the people to take some drastic action. They respectfully listened to the police and put their case in front of them.

Among the IDs, there were three that belong to an IT company Steria. Two of them are identical with same name, number, and photo but the third one though has same name as the other two, has different number and more importantly, a different photo. Steria confirmed that no one with that name works in that company. What was the need for UP cops to move around with fake IDs, do they carry some extra fake IDs with them as part of their job or was it some sort of mission they were on that required those fake IDs?

So, again even if one believes UP police that they were indeed chasing Aamir from Noida or if we put our faith in the stories published by some newspapers that Aamir was a criminal still that doesn’t explain what UP police was doing in unmarked car without license plate, outside their jurisdiction and with fake IDs.

UP police need to inform who were the people inside that car that night and who are the people whose IDs were found in the car. There were three PAN cards in the car belonging to Jitendra Chopra s/o Om Prakash, Yogesh Pal Singh s/o Vishnu Pal Singh and Paiti Singh d/o Narendara Singh. A bank card in the name of Priti Singh (probably the PAN card has incorrect name) and debit card of Yogesh Pal Singh. Another debit card in the name of Prashad Jitendra and three fake IDs in the name of Harinder Singh issued by IT company Steria.

Other than IDs, a search of the car revealed that car belonged to one Vinit Sharma resident of H. No. 512 Rajendra Park, Gurgaon. According to the document found in it the car was delivered on May 5th, 2008. So it is fairly new car and not registered in any government agency’s name. What were these policemen doing in a private car and according to UP police on an official business? Who will explain UP policemen in a Haryana car trying to kidnap a person in Delhi?

Investigation should also be done on who is the owner of Nokia mobile phone (number 9891372932) and whose name SIM card of Tata Indicom (number A0000006394485 D-59C) is registered? This will reveal identity of the people in the car. Only a thorough interrogation of each individual will reveal the true nature of their mission that Thursday night.

Residents found a license plate in the trunk of the car which shows the number DL1T W 1590. License plate looks brand new and unused; no marking to indicate it was ever screwed on any car.

Journalists, who want to do real investigative work and not depend on police handout and un-named sources for leaks have enough material to start their investigation. Delhi police who has lost credibility in the Batla House encounter case have now a perfect opportunity to regain the confidence of the public by doing an honest investigation. This should be an easy task for them since it affects none of them and all fault in this case lies with UP police. Residents of Jamia Nagar have show exemplary citizenship by not taking law in their hand, respecting the police and the law and doing everything by the book. Now, it is the time of journalists and the police to respect the ethics of their profession and regain the confidence and respect of the people.

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