Katju demands action against Delhi Police

Taking serious note of a journalist’s complaint that Delhi Police harassed him and his family members in the aftermath of the hanging of Afzal Guru, the Press Council of India (PCI) has urged the government to take action against the police officers within 48 hours if the allegations against them were true.

Iftikhar Geelani and his wife were detained along with hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani by Delhi police special cell sleuths here on Saturday.

The Hurriyat leader happens to be the father-in-law of Iftikhar, who works as an Assistant Editor with a newspaper here.

In a complaint to the PCI, Iftikhar alleged that he and his wife were detained at a flat where the latter was staying, and his two young children were locked in a room at his residence nearby. He alleged that Delhi Police were still harassing him.

“If the allegations of (Iftikhar) Geelani are correct, I call upon you to immediately charge-sheet and place under suspension all the police officers responsible for these high handed and illegal acts, including those higher ups who gave the orders, and institute criminal proceedings against them under the relevant provisions of IPC and other statutes within 48 hours,” PCI chairperson Justice (retd) Markandey Katju said in a letter to Union Home Secretary R K Singh.

He also urged the Home Secretary to immediately sanction “adequate and suitable” compensation to Iftikhar and his family and convey an apology to him.

“If allegations are correct, the concerned police officers as well as those who were instrumental in ordering such shameful and odious acts are prima facie guilty of serious crimes under sections 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint) and 342 (Punishment for wrongful confinement),” he added.

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