A police inspector and two constables have been suspended for allegedly arresting a dhaba owner and nine others after a fake encounter and booking them on charges of possessing illicit liquor and cannabis.
The dhaba owner had reportedly asked the police personnel to pay for the food they had consumed at his eatery.
Action against the erring policemen was taken almost 40 days after the incident. Senior police officials who learnt of the incident, ordered action.
The dhaba owner and some of his customers who reportedly intervened on his behalf, were arrested on February 4.
A press release issued on that day said that the men were trying to smuggle alcohol and drugs and were arrested after an ‘encounter’ that night.
The police further said that six country-made revolvers, 12 live cartridges, two kg of ganja and 80 litres of illicit liquor were recovered from the men.
Praveen Kumar, the brother of the dhaba owner told reporters, “On February 4, some policemen were eating food at my dhaba. These cops had an argument with my brother over paying for the food. They were regularly visiting the eatery but never paid for their food. Sometimes they used to pay Rs 100 when the bill was four times the amount.”
He said that on the day of the incident, the policemen were drunk and they beat up his brother.
“Later, two police jeeps came to my dhaba and took everyone, including my brother and customers who intervened on his behalf, to the police station. They booked them in false cases and claimed that illicit liquor had been recovered from my brother. They also claimed that my brother and others were arrested after an ‘encounter’,” he said.
Rajeev Krishna, an additional DGP-rank officer in-charge of the zone for the Etah Police, said in the statement, “Serious allegations were made against the then in-charge of the Kotwali Dehat Police Station. I asked the SP (Crime) of Etah to inquire and, prima facie, the allegations are found to be true.”
The ADG has ordered the suspension of the involved personnel and said that anyone from the police found involved will be booked. “The inquiry has been shifted out of Etah to Aligarh to ensure fairness,” he stated.