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The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday stayed the suspension of four police officials — three inspectors and a station officer — who were posted in Muzaffarnagar when the communal clashes began in Kawaal village on August 27.
One of the inspectors was suspended on September 8, while the others were suspended on September 11. All of them had filed separate petitions, through their common counsel, Vijay Gautam. The court has fixed October 31 as the next date of hearing.
The petitioners — Inspectors Omvir Singh Sirohi, Subhash Chandra Sharma, Indra Mani Verma and SO Pramod Singh Yadav — contended that they had caught all the seven accused in the Kawaal village incident and brought them to the police station on the night of August 28.
They said they were, however, asked to release the accused forthwith, even as the DM and SSP were transferred, reportedly under pressure from state minister Azam Khan. This incited the other community further, leading to the riots, it was alleged.
The court issued notices to the Principal Secretary (Home), DGP and SSP Muzaffarnagar asking them to file counter-affidavits within two weeks. The court also asked Azam Khan to file a counter-affidavit, if any, within 10 days.
Passing the order, the single judge bench of Justice Sudhir Agarwal said: “Serious allegations have been made assailing the order of suspension... in my view, serious allegations levelled against respondent No. 4 (Azam Khan) and the chain of incidents show that the matter requires consideration to see the circumstances behind passing (of) the impugned order and to find out whether the impugned order of suspension is vitiated due to malice, in law or fact, or even otherwise, whether it is in accordance with law.”
The court also noted the petitioner’s contention that the suspension orders did not establish any misconduct.
Earlier, the court had stayed the transfer of eight policemen from Muzaffarnagar. The policemen had alleged that personnel from only one community (Jat) were being transferred outside the district. In that petition too, the policemen had alleged that the transfers were being done under pressure from Khan.
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