Ex-IPS officer Amitabh Thakur remanded to judicial custody after being arrested in suicide ‘abetment’ case

The arrest came hours after Thakur had announced plans to launch a political outfit. Earlier, he had announced contesting polls against UP CM Yogi Adityanath from any constituency he stood from

Amitabh Thakur  (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@barandbench)
Amitabh Thakur (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@barandbench)

NH Web Desk

A Lucknow court on Saturday former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Amitabh Thakur, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police for allegedly abetting the suicide of a woman who immolated herself outside the Supreme Court, to judicial custody till September 9.

On Friday, the Lucknow Police had arrested Thakur on charges including abetment of suicide of a rape victim and her friend, who had set themselves on fire outside the Supreme Court gates on August 16, and died subsequently.

The 24-year-old victim woman had accused Bahujan Samaj Party MP Atul Rai, of raping her at his Varanasi home in 2019.

With regard to the self-immolation incident, the UP government had constituted an inquiry committee which in its interim investigation report, found BSP MP from Ghosi, Atul Rai and Amitabh Thakur prima facie guilty of abetting the victim and her associate witness to commit suicide and also recommended registering a case against them.

A First Information Report was registered under Section 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), Section 195-A (threatening any person to false evidence), Section 218 (public servant framing incorrect record, etc), Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), Section 506 (criminal intimidation) and Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code.

The arrest came hours after Thakur had announced plans to launch a political outfit, proposing the name ‘Adhikar Sena’ for it. He said the process to form the party would be initiated soon.

National Herald had reported on Friday about the former IPS officer’s arrest. A video had surfaced on social media which showed Amitabh Thakur resisting arrest and trying to clamber on to the roof of the police vehicle outside his residence. He was heard saying, "I will not go unless I am given a copy of the FIR." He was then shoved into the vehicle.

Later, in a tweet, the former IPS officer said, "The police have forcibly taken me to Hazratganj Kotwali without giving any reason."

National Herald repeatedly tried to speak to him but his phone was switched off.

After his arrest, Amitabh Thakur was taken to a hospital for medical examination and produced in the CJM court before being sent to jail, Hazratganj police said.

Lucknow Police Commissioner DK Thakur had confirmed that Thakur has been arrested in a case registered after the death of the rape victim.

Director General of Police Mukul Goel in a statement on Friday said, "In connection with the self-immolation attempt by the victim and her aide before the Supreme Court on August 16, the government had constituted an inquiry committee which in its interim investigation report, found BSP MP from Ghosi, Atul Rai and Amitabh Thakur prima facie guilty of abetting the victim and her associate witness to commit suicide and of other charges and also recommended registering a case against them."

He said following this, a case has been registered against MP Atul Rai and Amitabh Thakur and the investigation has been started. Amitabh Thakur has been arrested during the course of probe, the DGP said.

It has been alleged in the report that a total of seven cases were registered by the accused, Atul Rai, against the victim and her witness. It also claimed that Amitabh Thakur took money from Atul Rai for fabricating false evidence against the rape victim for maligning her image and inciting the woman to commit suicide.

On August 21, Thakur had claimed that he was stopped by police from going to Gorakhpur, citing a threat to his life.

Thakur's family had announced on August 14 that he would be contesting the next year's state Assembly polls against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, terming it a fight for principles.

The Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat was represented by Adityanath before becoming the chief minister of the state.

In a video statement, Thakur had said that when he was about to leave for Gorakhpur in the morning with one of his friends, a huge police force along with the Gomtinagar circle officer arrived there, saying he cannot go there. "When I asked them to explain the reason for this, I was told that there is a threat to my life," he had said.

"In that case (UP CM) Yogi Adityanath should not go anywhere because it is said that he faces a threat to life from the ISI and a number of other people. But he goes along with the security arrangement. I should also be given security and not stopped in the name of a threat. I was told that I am facing the anger of women from a specific community," Thakur had said.

He added that this shows that Yogi Adityanath is afraid of a "small person" like him. "This is laughable, shows the reality and is a murder of democracy," Thakur had said.

It may be recalled that Thakur, a 1992 batch IPS officer who was due to superannuate in 2028, was given ‘compulsory retirement’ on March 23 in "public interest" by the Union Home Ministry. He was "not found fit to be retained for the remaining tenure of his service", an order from the Union Home Ministry had said.

National Herald had reported on June 9 that the Uttar Pradesh government had refused to share information with Thakur regarding his compulsory retirement, saying the documents were "highly confidential".

Thakur had called this denial "improper and suspicious", saying initially he was given compulsory retirement in an "arbitrary manner" and now he was being denied information related to his livelihood.

He had sought documents related to the decision through a letter on May 26.

"Amitabh sought a copy of note sheet, correspondence, minutes, etc. of the file related to his compulsory retirement. These documents cannot be provided because they are highly confidential documents related to the discussion and approval at the highest level," stated an order issued by Special Secretary of the Home Department Kumar Prashant on June 3.

Previously, the Ministry of Home Affairs had also denied sharing the information under the RTI Act.

In 2017, Thakur had urged the Centre to dispose of his request for change of cadre to any state other than UP, saying the 'bias' against him did not exist anymore after the then ruling Samajwadi Party was routed in the assembly polls.

The officer was suspended on July 13, 2015, days after he accused SP patron Mulayam Singh of threatening him. A vigilance enquiry was also initiated against him.

However, the Lucknow Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal stayed his suspension in April 2016 and ordered his reinstatement with full salary with effect from October 11, 2015.

With agency inputs

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Published: 28 Aug 2021, 3:04 PM