UP cop goofs up, declares Asaram Bapu 'dead'
In a bizarre incident, an Uttar Pradesh Police official had posted the picture of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu on the Zonal Integrated Police Network (ZIPNET) through which police forces of seven states and the Union Territory of Chandigarh share data regarding missing persons, unidentified bodies and stolen vehicles.
In the first week of April, an official from Aligarh uploaded a photograph of Asaram Bapu as an unidentified dead body while practising on ZIPNET, a pilot project of the Delhi Police which connects police forces of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh.
The police official while practising the uploading of information erroneously uploaded the photograph of Asaram Bapu displaying it as an unidentified dead body found in Civil Lines in Aligarh. But he could not remove the photograph.
“Due to security reasons, administrator of State Crime Record Bureau of the Delhi Police has rights for any deletion,” Commissioner of Delhi Police Neeraj Kumar said.
The police official, who made the mistake, kept quiet and did not inform anyone. As a result, the photograph remained there for two days till it was brought to the notice of the Delhi Police on April 5.
Kumar said followers of Asaram Bapu threatened to launch an agitation, and relented only after assurances were made by a senior official to get the photograph deleted and to ensure that such mistakes do no recur.
Taking note of the mistake and facing embarrassment, the official said that this incident has seriously “undermined the integrity and popularity of ZIPNET”.
The commissioner issued a circular to the authorised personnel handling the ZIPNET in which he stated that such mistakes can not only cause acute embarrassment but “lead to serious law and order and communal problems”.
He directed them not to use pictures of any living person or deity or religious leaders and political figures while practising the web-based programme. “In case if there is any mistake, they must inform the Delhi Police immediately,” Kumar stated.