Dissent within ranks: UP cops observe Black Day in support of arrested colleague who killed Vivek Tiwari

Saurabh Sharma | Oct 5, 2018 | 5 min read


Dissent within ranks: UP cops observe Black Day in support of arrested colleague who killed Vivek Tiwari

Saurabh Sharma

Lucknow: The ‘encounter’ specialist police force of Uttar Pradesh is struggling to contain the dissent within its ranks in the aftermath of the death of an employee of a multinational firm, Vivek Tiwari, who was stopped, chased and shot at by two constables on 28 September near the Gomti Nagar police station in Lucknow.

Police constables of all police stations in Lucknow on Friday wore black bands on their arms in protest against the arrest of their colleague, Prashant Kumar, on 30 September. Kumar, along with colleague Sandeep Kumar, chased and shot Tiwari after he allegedly tried to run them over with his car. A second FIR in the case filed by Tiwari’s wife based on the account of his female colleague, who was in the car when he was shot, has alleged a cold blooded murder on part of the cops.

Several posts showing constables in protest against their department went around on social media Friday drawing embarrassment to the UP Police.

Earlier on Thursday, Uttar Pradesh police chief, O P Singh, claimed there was no dissatisfaction amongst the constables and everything within the police department was fine. Away from his claim, constables across the state announced to observe 5 October as a Black day.

Devarshi Yadav, a constable posted in Lucknow, said a message asking all police constables to observe a Black day was circulated on Whatsapp. “I received the message yesterday and there is no wrong in it. One of our colleagues has been falsely sent to jail and none of the seniors are speaking for us. I could not participate in the protest as I was assigned for a security rehearsal in view of President’s visit to Lucknow,” he said. Yadav believes the department should stand with the accused constable and provide him legal assistance.

Another constable, seeking anonymity, said that senior cops are responsible for this dissent within the department. “A constable knows his station house officer and circle officer first. He/she tries to follow every order of the senior and then he is terminated from the service and sent to jail. This attitude of the police is not done,” he said, adding that Prashant Kumar was fortunate enough to have his wife working in the same department, otherwise the family would be bound to struggle.

In a face-saving attempt, after posts of constables in protest started doing rounds on social media Friday, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Lucknow, Kalanidhi Naithani suspended three constables - Jitendra Kumar Verma from Gudamba police station, Sumit Kumar from Aliganj police station and Gaurav Chauhdhary from the Naka police station - for sharing pictures of protest on social media.

The district police chief also shunted SHOs of three police stations which were identified by the department as observing the Black day protest.

The Director General of Police (DGP) headquarters in Lucknow, through a statement, conveyed that stringent action will be taken against the accused policemen, but only after enquiry and identification, as the pictures floating on social media may even be forged. No one in authority at the headquarters chose to speak up on the issue, while the public relation officer (PRO) walked away.


Inspector General Amitabh Thakur, who is vocal about issues with the police, said through his Facebook post that it is the right of every citizen to help their colleague.

“I believe that helping a colleague financially or emotionally is right of every citizen. Stopping anyone (from doing so) in the name of discipline is neither constitutionally right, nor morally. If someone is a criminal, it does not mean that their friends cannot stand with the accused person,” Thakur's post read.

However, former Uttar Pradesh DGP, Vikram Singh, is not very impressed with the developments in the police department.

“Siding with an accused, even if he happens to be a policeman, is neither morally, nor legally correct,” he said, adding that senior police officers will see that no harm is done to their subordinates.

“I was also falsely implicated in three murder cases during my service and faced one after retirement. No one crowdfunded for me or the other 40 officers implicated along with me. No one wore a black band to protest for us,” said Singh, adding that he pawned his wife’s jewellery to fight the case.

“I won the case because truth has a flair of coming out,” the former DGP said, adding that unionism has no place in the police department and those indulging or inciting such activities should face the strictest action.

Earlier on Friday, UP Police dismissed Avinash Pathak and Brajendra Yadav from Mirzapur and Varanasi, respectively for inciting fellow policemen and gathering monetary support for the accused policeman.


(Author is Lucknow-based freelance writer and a member of 101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters)

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