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Top Uttarakhand officer accuses UP Police of trapping innocents; latter terms comment as "irresponsible"

Top Uttarakhand officer accuses UP Police of trapping innocents; latter terms comment as irresponsible

Dehradun: Uttarakhand Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Home, Radha Raturi, on Monday accused Uttar Pradesh Police of "catching innocents to show a case as solved", thus intensifying the war of words between the police departments of the two states.

Her statements come days after an unsuccessful raid in the hill state to arrest an alleged sand mining mafia led to the death of a local BJP leader's wife.

At a press conference, Uttarakhand's Additional Chief Secretary Radha Raturi said crimes should be investigated properly and the guilty should be punished, not the innocent.

"Many times, the Uttar Pradesh Police catch innocent persons and claim they are guilty. It should not be like that. Catching one innocent person may lead to the rise of 99 more wrongdoers," she said. Taking strong exception to the statement, the Uttar Pradesh Police termed it "irresponsible" and suggested that a civil servant should refrain from such comments.

In Lucknow, Additional Director General, (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said, "The Uttar Pradesh Police has seen and heard the statement of the additional chief secretary, home, Uttarakhand. The ACS has issued an irresponsible statement without knowing the facts. Any civil servant should avoid such statements especially when it is related to the matter of the country's biggest and sensitive state."

"This statement is regrettable and not based on facts. Does Mukthar Ansari and Vijay Mishra convicted by the courts appear innocent to the ACS?" "Does Zafar, a mining mafia, who is wanted or a senior blockhead of Udham Singh Nagar appears innocent for her? The statement is unfortunate as the UP police have taken strict action against criminals in the state and also against PFI," he said.

Later, Raturi clarified that she wanted to say that "crimes should be investigated properly and only the guilty should be punished, not the innocent. Police of all states is performing well. Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand police often work together to solve crimes." The Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand police are locked in a standoff over an unsuccessful raid a few days ago.

The police had attempted to arrest sand mining mafia Zafar and his associates from Bharatpur village of Udham Singh Nagar district in Uttarakhand on October 12 night, but a clash broke out between the police team and villagers.

In the clash, the wife of a local BJP leader was killed and five others, including four Uttar Pradesh Police personnel, were injured. Several police personnels was also held captive by villagers in Bharatpur and were freed following the intervention of senior police officials.

Udham Singh Nagar Senior Superintendent of Police had claimed that the Uttar Pradesh Police team did not inform their Uttarakhand counterparts about the action in advance.

Zafar was arrested on Sunday from Uttar Pradesh's Moradabad.

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