Controversial cop Mukesh Gupta moves SC against state police, alleges harassment: Chhattisgarh

Mukesh Gupta who was the DGP of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) under the BJP, was removed this year

Supreme court

Controversial Chhattisgarh police officer Mukesh Gupta who was earlier ousted as the Director General of Police of the ACB and EOW in September, has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the state police, alleging “persistent hounding and victimization at the behest of the present political dispensation”, The Indian Express reported. He also alleged that the state police are illegally tapping phones of two of his daughters, and “tracking and stalking (my) family members”.

Until recently a top-cop in the former BJP-led government, Mukesh Gupta faces allegations of financial impropriety and illegal phone-tapping, and along with two other officers was demoted last month to the Additional Director General (ADG) of Police rank.

Even before the BJP lost to the Congress in the VidhanSabha Polls in December 2018 and BhupeshBaghel became the Chief Minister, he had accused Gupta of corruption and alleged that the BJP was protecting him.

In February, two FIRs were registered against Gupta, where along with then Superintendent of Police (SP) Rajnesh Singh, he was booked undersections 193 (false evidence), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), 466 (forgery), 471 (Using as genuine a forged), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and other relevant sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under provisions of Indian Telegraph Actduring the Civil Supplies Corporation scam probe in 2015.

In 2015, the then BJP government faced allegations of corruption in the PDS, which until then had been seen as a model for other states. The allegations were that kickbacks were paid by rice millers and agents to allow the distribution of substandard rice through the state’s PDS.

At the time, his suspension came as one of the biggest moves of the Congress-led government. He faced charges of diverting the probe to save many prominent accused like then CM Raman Singh and his wife and tampering with important documents in the approximately Rs. 36,000 crore Public Distribution System (PSD) scam.

He had also made uncorroborated comments against Professor NandiniSundar in 2014 when was the ADG of Police. Allegedly at his behest, the arrested Congress worker BadriGawande with alleged Maoist links was forced to take Sundar’s name over Maoist ‘links’ over the Rowghat Mines issue, which she was vociferously opposing. She was targeted for opposing the privatisation of the mines, alienation of adivasi land protected under the 5th schedule and the vehement protest over the non-disbandment of the government-backed SalwaJudum by the police. The People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) had then issued press statements against this targeted harassment of Professor Nandini Sundar.

In May 2014, CM BhupeshBaghel also initiated another inquiry against Gupta alleging involvement in a land allotment case. Baghel alleged that a land of around 6,000 sqft was allotted in the name of Gupta at a cheaper rate in Nehru Nagar, Bhilai by SADA on June 9, 1998 even though the Madhya Pradesh (MP) government had dissolved SADA on June 8, 1998.

To probe the allegations against Mukesh Gupta, the Congress government appointed S R P Kalluri as the head of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the probe. Questions were raised on Kalluri’s appointment as he was accused by human rights activists, tribals in Bastar and even Baghel himself for participating in the burning of adivasi homes in a 2011 operation and threatening human rights activists and journalists in Bastar.

Gupta claims harassment
While the SC had taken cognizance of Gupta’s allegations of harassment by the police and issued notices to the state government, including the CM; Gupta said that the ‘relief’ granted to him was only short-lived.

In his petition he said that Chhattisgarh Police officials are “permanently parked” outside his flat in Panchsheel Park, New Delhi, and have allegedly threatened the family’s security guard and driver.

He said that officials also harassed his driver Heera and attempted to abduct him. Gupta’s daughter too alleged that that Chhattisgarh Police personnel were tracking moves of the family members, and that they were even followed on a flight to Chennai.

Accusations and counter-accusations, the appointment of Kalluri and the fight to stay in power – is this just a game of political vendetta or a genuine effort at granting the innocent justice?

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