Caste

Hathras Gangrape: Ex Civil Servants Demand SC/ST Atrocities Case Against Errant Officials

They have urged the officials of the Uttar Pradesh government not to give in to the pressure exerted by the political class to facilitate a cover-up.

New Delhi: In an open letter, over 90 former civil servants from across the country have demanded for a SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities case to be filed against Hathras police and district magistrate officials, whose alleged negligence have impacted the investigation into the Hathras gangrape and murder incident.

The signatories of the letter include retired civil servants from the Indian administrative, revenue, foreign and forest services, who had worked in top positions both in the Central and state governments.

They have urged the officials of the Uttar Pradesh government not to give into the pressure exerted by the political class to facilitate a cover-up. “We urge them to live up to the proud traditions of the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, in whom the people of this country still repose faith. The meek surrender of the Uttar Pradesh bureaucracy and police, especially its All-India Services, to political diktat has shamed all of us who deem it a badge of honour to belong to these services,” the signatories have said.

The full statement, along with the list of signatories, has been reproduced below.

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Dear Chief Minister,

Just when we thought that nothing could numb our consciences and brains further, the handling of the Hathras incident by the Uttar Pradesh administration has shown that, as a nation, we are plumbing the depths of depravity and callousness in governance. A young Dalit woman is brutally violated. Almost three weeks after the incident, the police are yet to confirm the crime of rape and are still spinning theories around it, although the video of what amounts to her dying declaration seems to confirm it. Her neck was lacerated, her spinal column was broken and there were cuts on her tongue. Instead of promptly admitting her to a hospital with advanced facilities for dealing with trauma, she was allowed to languish in the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, Aligarh. She was moved to Delhi only two weeks after the incident, that too on the request of her family, a case of too little, too late. What followed was an even greater travesty of justice and basic human values. After her death, her body was despatched post haste to her village and cremated in the dead of night by policemen. Being a person attached to a persuasion of the Hindu faith, you would be well aware that Hindu customs require the nearest kin to offer agni to the mortal remains. Both the sacred traditions and the family’s pleas that they would perform the cremation in the morning were ignored. To add insult to injury, a policeman is reported to have told the bereaved family that they were also to blame and the District Magistrate has apparently been captured on video making veiled threats to the family that they should be careful about their statements to the media, because the officials would be around even after the media departs.

It is being touted in the media that the Prime Minister has asked you to “fast track” this case to secure an early conviction. With our experience as erstwhile administrators in different departments of the central and state governments, our group of former civil servants had, in the past, highlighted the brazen violations of the rule of law in the Unnao rape case and in the murder of the police inspector in Bulandshahr. We note with concern that, even after two years, the ghastly murder of a brother officer has not stirred the UP police and your administration to bring the case to closure. In these circumstances, we may be forgiven for viewing UP’s fast track justice system with scepticism.

We are, in fact, concerned with the novel interpretations of fast track justice in the state governed by you. In recent days, we have seen two instances where alleged criminals have met their deaths while being transported by the police to Uttar Pradesh. Even if they were guilty of the offences listed against them, they were entitled, under the Constitution of India and the laws of the land, to a fair trial. Denial of this right amounts to violation of Article 21 of the Constitution. Your administration has also initiated draconian measures against anti-CAA protesters, including detention and levy of punitive fines. You seem to believe in combining the roles of judge and executioner, as evidenced in a recent interview where you advocated the philosophy of “an eye for an eye.” Equally reprehensible, some months ago, you ordered the withdrawal of cases registered against you in the past. Politicians never tire of saying “the law must take its course”. Why depart from this article of faith for your party and government?

The Hathras district administration feels it can flout human sentiments at will, apart from rapidly disposing of evidence in cases of offences against the body. All those complicit in these violations of law and tradition must be punished. While it is in the order of things that you have suspended the Superintendent of Police, there are adequate grounds for immediate suspension of the District Magistrate as well; we insist that departmental proceedings against them be started at the earliest. Action under Section 4 of The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 must be initiated against all those officers and men of the district police and the executive magistracy who have wilfully neglected the duties enjoined on them under this Act. We also note with regret that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police have failed abjectly in exercising control over a highly compromised administration. We urge them to live up to the proud traditions of the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, in whom the people of this country still repose faith. The meek surrender of the Uttar Pradesh bureaucracy and police, especially its All-India Services, to political diktat has shamed all of us who deem it a badge of honour to belong to these services.

But, ultimately, all responsibility rests with you as the Chief Executive of the state. Your actions over the past three and a half years give us little reason to believe that your actions are motivated by respect for the rule of law. We urge you to conduct your administration in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India, to which you have sworn allegiance when you assumed office. In the present instance, we hope you will deliver justice to the victim and her family, without fear or favour, despite the efforts of specific upper caste groups to interfere with the course of justice. We also hope you will ensure that officers of your administration implement the rule of law in a just and fair manner.

SATYAMEVA JAYATE

Yours sincerely,

(92 signatories, as below)

1. Anita Agnihotri IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Department of Social Justice Empowerment, GoI
2. Salahuddin Ahmad IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
3. Shafi Alam IPS (Retd.) Former Director General, National Crime Records Bureau, GoI
4. S.P. Ambrose IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping & Transport, GoI
5. Anand Arni R&AW (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
6. N. Bala Baskar IAS (Retd.) Former Principal Adviser (Finance), Ministry of External Affairs, GoI
7. Vappala Balachandran IPS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
8. Gopalan Balagopal IAS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
9. Chandrashekhar Balakrishnan IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Coal, GoI
10. Rana Banerji IAS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), GoI
11. Sharad Behar IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
12. Madhu Bhaduri IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Portugal
13. Meeran C Borwankar IPS (Retd.) Former Commissioner of Police, Pune, Govt. of Maharashtra
14. Ravi Budhiraja IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, GoI
15. Sundar Burra IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
16. R. Chandramohan IAS (Retd.) Former Principal Secretary, Transport and Urban Development, Govt. of NCT of Delhi
17. Rachel Chatterjee IAS (Retd.) Former Special Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
18. Kalyani Chaudhuri IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
19. Anna Dani IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
20. Vibha Puri Das IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GoI
21. P.R. Dasgupta IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Food Corporation of India, GoI
22. Nitin Desai IES (Retd.) Former Secretary and Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, GoI
23. Keshav Desiraju IAS (Retd.) Former Health Secretary, GoI
24. M.G. Devasahayam IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Govt. of Haryana
25. Sushil Dubey IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Sweden
26. A.S. Dulat IPS (Retd.) Former OSD on Kashmir, Prime Minister’s Office, GoI
27. K.P. Fabian IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Italy
28. Gourisankar Ghosh IAS (Retd.) Former Mission Director, National Drinking Water Mission, GoI
29. Suresh K. Goel IFS (Retd.) Former Director General, Indian Council of Cultural Relations, GoI
30. S.K. Guha IAS (Retd.) Former Joint Secretary, Department of Women & Child Development, GoI
31. H.S. Gujral IFoS (Retd.) Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of Punjab
32. Meena Gupta IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, GoI
33. Ravi Vira Gupta IAS (Retd.) Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India
34. Wajahat Habibullah IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, GoI and Chief Information Commissioner
35. Deepa Hari IRS (Resigned)  
36. Sajjad Hassan IAS (Retd.) Former Commissioner (Planning), Govt. of Manipur
37. Kamal Jaswal IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI
38. Najeeb Jung IAS (Retd.) Former Lieutenant Governor, Delhi
39. Rahul Khullar IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
40. K. John Koshy IAS (Retd.) Former State Chief Information Commissioner, West Bengal
41. Ajai Kumar IFoS(Retd.) Former Director, Ministry of Agriculture, GoI
42. Brijesh Kumar IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI
43. Aloke B. Lal IPS (Retd.) Former Director General (Prosecution), Govt. of Uttarakhand
44. Subodh Lal IPoS (Resigned) Former Deputy Director General, Ministry of Communications, GoI
45. Harsh Mander IAS (Retd.) Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
46. Amitabh Mathur IPS (Retd.) Former Director, Aviation Research Centre and Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
47. Aditi Mehta IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
48. Shivshankar Menon IFS (Retd.) Former Foreign Secretary and Former National Security Adviser
49. Sonalini Mirchandani IFS (Resigned) GoI
50. Sunil Mitra IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI
51. Noor Mohammad IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, Govt. of India
52. Avinash Mohananey IPS (Retd.) Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Sikkim
53. Jugal Mohapatra IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Department of Rural Development, GoI
54. Deb Mukharji IFS (Retd.) Former High Commissioner to Bangladesh and former Ambassador to Nepal
55. Shiv Shankar Mukherjee IFS (Retd.) Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
56. Pranab S. Mukhopadhyay IAS (Retd.) Former Director, Institute of Port Management, GoI
57. P.G.J. Nampoothiri IPS (Retd.) Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Gujarat
58. Amitabha Pande IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Inter-State Council, GoI
59. Mira Pande IAS (Retd.) Former State Election Commissioner, West Bengal
60. Niranjan Pant IA&AS (Retd.) Former Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, GoI
61. Alok Perti IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Coal, GoI
62. R. Poornalingam IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, GoI
63. R.M. Premkumar IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
64. N.K. Raghupathy IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, GoI
65. V.P. Raja IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission
66. C. Babu Rajeev IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, GoI
67. K. Sujatha Rao IAS (Retd.) Former Health Secretary, GoI
68. Satwant Reddy IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, GoI
69. Vijaya Latha Reddy IFS (Retd.) Former Deputy National Security Adviser, GoI
70. Julio Ribeiro IPS (Retd.) Former Adviser to Governor of Punjab & former Ambassador to Romania
71. Manabendra N. Roy IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
72. A.K. Samanta IPS (Retd.) Former Director General of Police (Intelligence), Govt. of West Bengal
73. Deepak Sanan IAS (Retd.) Former Principal Adviser (AR) to Chief Minister, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
74. G. Sankaran IC&CES (Retd.) Former President, Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal
75. S. Satyabhama IAS (Retd.) Former Chairperson, National Seeds Corporation, GoI
76. N.C. Saxena IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Planning Commission, GoI
77. Ardhendu Sen IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
78. Abhijit Sengupta IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI
79. Aftab Seth IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Japan
80. Ashok Kumar Sharma IFoS (Retd.) Former MD, State Forest Development Corporation, Govt. of Gujarat
81. Ashok Kumar Sharma IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Finland and Estonia
82. Navrekha Sharma IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Indonesia
83. Sujatha Singh IFS (Retd.) Former Foreign Secretary, GoI
84. Tirlochan Singh IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, National Commission for Minorities, GoI
85. Jawhar Sircar IAS (Retd.)

 

Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI, & former CEO, Prasar Bharati
86. Narendra Sisodia IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI
87. Thanksy Thekkekera IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Minorities Development, Govt. of Maharashtra
88. P.S.S. Thomas IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission
89. Geetha Thoopal IRAS (Retd.) Former General Manager, Metro Railway, Kolkata
90. Hindal Tyabji IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary rank, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir
91. Ashok Vajpeyi IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi
92. Ramani Venkatesan

 

IAS (Retd.) Former Director General, YASHADA, Govt. of Maharashtra