Civil rights groups here on Wednesday took exception to the Central Bureau of Investigation filing closure reports in 14 cases registered on the complaint of victims in the Gopalgarh police firing incident of September 2011 in Bharatpur district, in which 10 people were killed and over 30 injured.
The CBI has filed final report in the court in connection with 14 first information reports which were registered on the complaints by those injured in the violence, next of kin of the deceased and some social activists of the region. These FIRs had named the police and administrative officers of the district as the accused.
The CBI investigation in connection with five other FIRs registered by the then Gopalgarh police station in-charge on his own and other police officers is in progress. The investigating agency has arrested some persons and filed charge-sheets on the basis of these cases.
The Association for Protection of Civil Rights, Irada Society, Rajasthan Muslim Forum and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind alleged at a press conference here that the CBI was trying to shield the actual culprits and had quietly filed the final report during the last hearing in the court to effectively close the case against the policemen who had resorted to “indiscriminate firing”.
“The CBI showed the witnesses as neutral and obtained their statements under Section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code to ensure that its clean chit given to the administration is not challenged,” said Jamaat-e-Islami Hind national secretary M. Salim Engineer.
On the other hand, eight innocent persons belonging to the Neo Muslim community – which was at the receiving end during the violence – arrested by the CBI were still languishing in the jail, said the activists. The Judicial Commission looking into the incident has also been given extension till December 31.
The activists accused the ruling Congress of misusing the CBI to protect its political interests in the run-up to the State Assembly elections. They alleged that the CBI officers had threatened the family members of the deceased and forced them to give statements six to seven times to suit its line of investigation.
Irada Society president Mohammed Hasan said the victims of Gopalgarh and similar communal incidents reported in several towns in the State had not got justice because of the State Government’s “unwillingness” to take on the communal and anti-social elements.
The activists demanded immediate action against the guilty officers and special measures to remove the atmosphere of fear and mistrust among the vulnerable sections of society.
They said the civil rights groups would continue to fight for justice for the victims of violence.