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07 June 2013

Khalid’s death: Former STF Chief’s role in question

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Why M. K. Jha was posted as Faizabad Police Chief at this time?

By Syed Mansoor Agha

The Uttar Pradesh Government has as last moved Manoj Kumar Jha out of Faizabad transferred him to PAC. Jha was posted as Additional Superintended Police Faizabad (city) at the time of mysterious death of Mujahid Qasmi on 16th May 2013 May, 2013 while he was being taken to Lucknow in police escort from Faizabad after a hearing in a cooked terror related case. Mr. Jha was the man behind the arrest of Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid in 2007.

The notorious police officer, favorite of BSP regime was posted as Additional SP of Special Task Force (STF) of U.P. Police in Lucknow range. It was he who framed Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid in bomb blast cases of Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi court compounds on 23 Nov 2007 and get them picked clandestinely from their native places. Qasmi was abducted in the morning of 12th Dec, 2007 when he was on his way to Srai Meer in Azamgarh from his village Sammopur on his motorcycle. Khalid Mujahid was picked up in the day light from his the market of Madiyahu’s town in District Jaunpur on Dec 7, 2007. But Special Task Force under Mr. Jha showed them arrested from near Barabanki Railway Station with explosives including RDX on 22nd Dec, 2007.

Mr. Jha was under the cloud from the very beginning, as tremendous evidences emerged in public of his wrong doing. Justice BD Nimesh report in the Barabanki fake case put the seal on the evidences confirming that both were picked up several days ahead of their purported arrest from Barabanki.

Mayawati Government, which instituted Nimesh probe, was also under pressure to act against the erring cope. She transferred Jha from STF and posted him as Additional S.P. (Crime) of her native district Gautambudh Nagar in Oct, 2011.

Since SP has promised to do justice with the accused but remained reluctant and took the plea that it will wait till Nimesh Commission gave its report. Commission submitted the report in August 2012, but was kept under wraps. For quite some time SP Government was under heavy pressure to public the report and act accordingly. Strangely SP Government transferred Mr. Jha from Gautambudh Nagar to Faizabad as Additional SP (City) where a case was pending against Khalid and Mujahid. The place is in vicinity of Lucknow, Varanasi and Barabanki, where other cases are being herd. The question, whether he was assigned some special task in Faizabad regarding these cases or he manipulated his transfer to for a mission, need to be answered?

An FIR was filed after Khalid’s mysterious against 42 police officers for their role in the wrongful arrest and killing of Khalid Mujahid. Mr. Jha is also named as accused in the FIR. On 18th May 2013 a massive protest march was taken out in the city. The protesters submitted a memorandum to the Divisional Commissioner of Faizabad demanding action against Mr. Jha for his role in the case. Demand of action and registering an FIR against the Additional Superintendent Police, naturally would not have been going well and have naturally frowned him.

It is alleged that Mr. Jha played a role from behind to call a meeting of District Bar Association which condemned the protest march and passed an un-ethical resolution to bar the membership of three advocates —- Shakeelur Rehman, Nadeem Ahmed and Saleem Ahmed who represented Khalid and Tariq in the case pending in the Faizabad Court. The trio had also helped in registering the FIR against police personals and participated in the protest march with several other advocates, mostly from minority community. DBA has already cancelled the membership of Mr. Jamal Ahmad in in 2008, when he filed papers for contesting Khalid’s case. After DBA meeting, the lawyers came to the compound where we used to sit and damaged furniture and name plates. Saleem Ahmad was attacked.

Now Mr. Jha is being indicated for this ugly incidence, as the office of Tariq’s advocates was ransacked in the presence of Police under him and Mr Saleem Ahmad was brutally attacked. Police did not act to protect the person of advocate Saleem and the property of Jamal Ahmad. Mr. Saleem was deeply injured and had to be admitted in the emergency ward of the district hospital.

After the incidence, Mr. Jamal has expressed apprehension of further attack and has demanded security from the police. The apprehension is genuine as Advocate Shahid Azmi was shot dead in day light who was defense lawyer of Muslim youths languishing in jails in fake terror cases.

It is strange that SP Government did not take immediate action against Jha even after filing the FIR and allowed him to continue as head of City Police. Demand of his suspension was also fell on the deaf ears. However leaders and sympathizers of SP Government are regularly trying to give an impression that action is being taken to full fill the promise to free innocent Muslim youths from the jails. Stern action must be taken against erring police personals who have made mockery of law and misused their official position to make the lives of innocent families hell. The plea of adverse effect on Police morale is rubbish. The administration is required to protect the innocents and not the law breakers.

[Syed Mansoor Agha is General Secretary, Forum for Civil Rights, New Delhi. He can be contacted at syyedagha@hotmail.com]

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