DGP orders probe as cops use chair, basket as riot gear

Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) H.C. Awasthi has sought an explanation after photographs showed policemen using a basket and a plastic chair as a riot gear during a clash.

The UP police chief sought an explanation from SP Unnao, Anand Rao Kulkarni, on why the force was ill-equipped to handle the mob despite intelligence inputs.

ASP Rae Bareli, Vishwajit Srivastava, will head the probe.

Awasthi said a casual approach while handling aggressive mobs amounts to exposing cops to high and avoidable risk.

The DGP said that an elaborate SOP and sufficient riot gear have been provided to districts to deal with law-and-order situations, but the Unnao police force was ill-equipped.

The clash took place when the local people staged a protest, demanding compensation for two persons who had died in a road accident.

The Unnao police accused Bhim Army of instigating the violence.

The SP said that on Tuesday, two men, Rajesh and Vipin, died in a road accident and the next day, families told police they would cremate the bodies.

“However, some members of Bhim Army incited the families and they placed the bodies on the Rae Bareli-Unnao highway, blocking the arterial stretch to the city. They also demanded Rs 20 lakh as compensation. When police reached the spot to pacify them, members of Bhim Army started pelting stones at police. In the ensuing attack, a few cops sustained injuries. The situation was brought under control when senior police officers reached the spot,” said the SP.

Four policemen — SHO Sadar Kotwali Dinesh Mishra, police outpost in charge Akhilesh Kumar and constables Ram Asrey Yadav and Vijay Yadav — have been suspended for dereliction of duty.

He further said that 43 people had been arrested and on basis of photographs and CCTV footage, the police were tracking down Bhim Army members to book them under stringent IPC sections.