UP Police: Ridiculing of a witness by DG

Noida eyewitness ridiculed


      Noida/Lucknow: Should an unarmed chowkidar be expected to fight with four armed and trigger-happy criminals who have just shot a woman dead without much provocation? And if this man comes forward as an eyewitness, should he be paraded before the media and then ridiculed by senior cops instead of being praised and given protection? 

         Believe it or not, while on a visit to Noida on Friday, DGP Vikram Singh allegedly called this eyewitness, Dev, ‘‘an idiot’’, adding that he wasn’t fit to be a guard. Before dozens of TV cameras, at the Noida police control room, the state police supremo said: ‘‘He saw the whole thing (murder) happening. And, he should have reacted.’’

        Speaking to the TOI on Friday in Lucknow, the DGP said whatever he said was meant for his subordinates and himself. He said if he had to say anything to the eyewitness, he would have said it in Hindi. ‘‘I didn’t use the word that a section of the media is claiming I have and I didn’t talk to the eyewitness at all,’’ he said.

        He said he had told his subordinates that the manner in which the eyewitness reacted to the crime established that he was not fit to be a guard and this should be communicated to the person who had engaged him.

       On Saturday evening, Dev could not be traced. Construction workers and thelawallas who are at the spot daily, said, ‘‘The police has frightened him away by abusing and mistreating him. He voluntarily provided the police the first information on the Sheeba murder. He could have easily gone away. After all, who likes to be a witness in a murder case?’’ fumed a contractor at the spot. Nobody was willing to give his address.

       On Friday, Dev had said, ‘‘There were bullets flying by the time I realized what was happening. I do not even understand Hindi properly. And I was about 40 metres from the spot on the road. It was over before I could react. But, I volunteered to provide the police all the information I could. What else do they want of me?’’

       Reacting to what had happened, Supreme Court lawyer Amit Khemka said: ‘‘One person had been shot and the culprits would naturally not have stopped at killing Dev, too. The punishment for two murders is the same as for one. And, had Dev been killed, the police would have no witness. You see, the cops in this state have never bothered about witness protection. They actually harass witnesses. That is why nobody testifies.’’

        Criminal lawyer SP Chowdhary said, ‘‘At least the guard came forward to provide information. The police should thank him. But, more than that, they should realize that his life is in danger. The killers know he is witness to their crime. He should be provided protection and encouraged. The DG has set a bad example for other police officers.’’




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