Lucknow, March 25 : The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of reports in Etah district where the policemen got involved in a squabble at a roadside eatery over the payment of bill for the food they consumed.
The policemen then falsely implicated and arrested ten people, including the brother of the owner of the eatery and eight customers in an alleged encounter with them. The persons reportedly arrested by the police are presently lodged in judicial custody.
The Commission has issued a notice to the Director General of Police to submit a report within six weeks.
A copy of these proceedings has also been sent to the Member Secretary, Uttar Pradesh State Legal Aid Services Authority to ensure free legal aid to the arrested people, if not provided.
Issuing the notice, the Commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights.
The incident, apparently, is a classic example of failure of the entire system of checks and balances. Hence, fair investigation is required to be conducted to know from where the policemen could manage to procure these items.
It may be recalled that on February 4, some policemen were eating food at a roadside eatery. These cops had an argument with the owner over paying for the food. They were regularly visiting the eatery but never paid for their food.
Some of the customers, present at that time, also asked the policemen to pay the bill. An argument reportedly took place and the policemen started beating the brother of the owner of the eatery.
After some time, around 15 policemen reportedly arrived in three vehicles, pointed guns and took away the brother and the cousin of the eatery owner as well as eight customers with them to the Kotwali police station and lodged an FIR against them.
The persons arrested by the police are lodged in judicial custody and as per the FIR, ten people, part of a gang, were hatching a plan to commit a crime of loot and the police caught them after an encounter.
Six illegal weapons, 80 litres illicit liquor and 2 kg contraband had been reportedly projected as recovered from the persons arrested by the police.
The matter came to light almost 40 days later after senior police officials learnt of the case and ordered action against the guilty police personnel.
A police inspector and two constables have been suspended for allegedly arresting the persons after a fake encounter and booking them on charges of possessing illicit liquor and cannabis.