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Guided by facts, not personalities: Police chief on riots probe

Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava said: "…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."

In response to a letter by retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava has written back saying their probe into the Northeast Delhi riots is “guided by facts and evidence, not by reputation and personalities”.

“While we do not differentiate a complainant on the basis of caste or religion, 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. The other community accounted for over 190 FIRs. The remaining were registered on the basis of daily diary entries,” he wrote.

On September 12, Ribeiro, the former Mumbai police commissioner, wrote to Shrivastava, questioning the probe into the February riots which left 53 dead. He wrote that police were acting against “peaceful protesters” while ignoring senior BJP leaders who made provocative, communal public speeches in the build-up to the violence.

Two days after Ribeiro’s letter, nine retired IPS officers also questioned the Delhi Police’s investigation in an open letter.

Shrivastava responded: “As a career police officer who has held numerous responsible positions, you are aware of the false perceptions often created by interested groups. There are several entities who have their reasons to weave a web of deception and to push a false narrative of bias and insensitivity on the part of the police. It is best that the criminal justice system…may be allowed work, lest lending one’s name inadvertently imparts a false aura of credibility and authenticity to these concocted and motivated stories. Also, anybody aggrieved with the investigation can always seek judicial remedies.”

Shrivastava added, “…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.”

Shrivastava also wrote that Delhi Police has “arrested 1,571 persons irrespective of their caste or religion. The arrestees are almost equally distributed among both communities.”

He further wrote, “You, Sir, are known as an officer who always stood by his convictions, irrespective of extraneous considerations. Surely, you would not grudge the same independence, honesty and courage of their convictions to the officers of Delhi Police conducting these investigations.”

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