SHO dared me to transfer him, says Birla

Two days after a married woman was allegedly set ablaze by her in-laws at Sagarpur in south-west Delhi, Women and Child Minister Rakhi Birla on Wednesday alleged that police were shielding the accused in lieu of money.

Birla, who visited the crime scene on Wednesday night, also said the Sagarpur station house officer dared her to transfer him.

But SHO Richhpal Singh had a different tale to narrate to Deccan Herald. He said the minister and her party workers were taking the law in their own hands and at one point even “told her workers to burn the policemen there”.  

Several attempts to reach the youngest minister of Arvind Kejriwal’s Cabinet for her response on this allegation went in vain. Party workers, including her brother Vikram, who said they had not accompanied Birla to the scene on Wednesday, denied the allegations.

The SHO said Birla first arrived at the police station at 9:30 pm in his absence and burst out at the Additional SHO saying “police haven’t taken the victim’s statement”. 

“When she was explained that the FIR was filed on the victim’s statement, she asked them to show her the scene of the crime,” said Meena.

She allegedly then asked the police team to show her right there the evidence collected. “I explained to her that doing that could hamper the investigation and help the accused, but she was relentless,” he said.

Then claiming that the accused were still hiding in the house, she allegedly asked her party workers to check the building despite police resisting the action. 

“It was late in the night, the tenants of the house, which included women, did not want to be disturbed. Moreover, we did not have a court order. But they forcibly entered the house, misbehaved with the tenants and yet found no one hiding,” the SHO said.

Regarding her claims that he dared her to transfer him, he said he told her that it was not his “birthright to be the SHO of this police station and she can do what she feels right”.

Deccan Herald happened to be present at a protest by AAP workers and a subsequent meeting between MLA Surinder Singh at Sagarpur police station earlier on Tuesday. 

Before the legislator had arrived, a couple of the dozens of protesters had threatened to burn down the police station for “lack of action” in the woman’s burning case.

They had even then alleged that the SHO and others were taking money from the accused for shielding them. 

When spoken to, they could not offer substantial evidence, instead saying despite cases lodged by the victim in the past, not much action was taken and the accused continued to roam free. 

The SHO had said they had registered the cases earlier and some of the cases were under the jurisdiction of the court. 

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