Monday, June 24, 2024

SIT bares police failure

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Officials in the state have forwarded the Special Investigation Team (SIT) report to the Election Commission of India regarding the election day violence and subsequent riots, awaiting further instructions from the EC.
In a meeting held on Tuesday, AP Chief Secretary Dr. KS Jawahar Reddy convened with AP DGP Harish Kumar Gupta to deliberate on the SIT report. Reports indicate that following the submission of the SIT report to the Central Election Commission regarding the incidents of violence during and after Election Day in the state, the two top officials engaged in discussions at the Secretariat. It is understood that they explored potential steps to be taken pending further directives from the EC based on the initial findings of the SIT.
Sources reveal that the SIT, as per the Election Commission’s directives, uncovered shortcomings in the police’s handling of the violence. The SIT teams extensively surveyed Palnadu, Tirupati, and Anantapur districts over two days, scrutinizing 33 cases related to violent incidents across six constituencies.
SIT Chief Vineet Brijlal and SP Rama Devi submitted a comprehensive 150-page report to DGP Harish Kumar Gupta on Monday evening, subsequently forwarding it to the Election Commission. The release of this report has sparked considerable discussion within the state.
Reports suggest that the SIT identified numerous deficiencies in the investigations and issued clear directives to the Investigation Officers for prompt compliance. In light of this, the Chief Secretary and the DGP deliberated on expediting ongoing investigations, emphasized the formation of specialized teams at the district level to identify and apprehend suspects.
In a first, the State government has transferred the Palnadu Collector and the Tirupati Superintendent of Police (SP), while the SPs of Palnadu and Anantapur districts, along with 12 police officers, have been suspended for their failure to contain the election-related violence.
The government established the SIT to probe these incidents. There has been considerable speculation within the police department regarding the nature of directives expected from the EC. Sources indicate that the Chief Secretary and the DGP extensively reviewed the SIT findings, assessed the situation, and are preparing to address any forthcoming directives from the ECI.

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