NEW DELHI: A number of ex-IPS officers on Friday defended the Delhi Police over the probe into Delhi riots and hit out at those criticising it, saying some officers cannot "usurp for themselves the office of presiding officers of courts to declare anyone innocent and try to put the police force in bad light".
Some former IPS officers, including former Punjab DGP Julio Riberio, have questioned the probe and accused the Delhi Police of going after one group of protestors while being lenient to others, including a few BJP leaders.
Hitting back, several other former officers backed the police and said in a statement that Riberio and others should not have supported such kind of "anti-India expression and communal narrative" as they referred to some controversial slogans allegedly raised by activist Umar Khalid, now under arrest, and others.
"The Delhi Police has every right and duty to investigate the role of any such person, and custodial investigation is a part of due process of law. The accused has his rights under the law to seek anticipatory bail or regular bail, as the case may be, and the right to a fair trial where he can prove himself innocent," they said.
Former Delhi Police commissioner R S Gupta, former UP DGP R N Singh, former Tripura DGP B L Vohra and former Kerala DGP S Gopinath are among the 26 ex-IPS officers who have signed the statement.
"A section of former police officers cannot usurp for themselves the office of presiding officers of the courts to declare anyone innocent and try to put the police force in bad light. These officers have no right to suspect or question the integrity and professionalism of their successors in the Indian Police Service, and in turn demoralise them," they said.
Such "posturing and adverse commentary" may demotivate police officers and dilute their firm resolve to act against criminals, including those who incite communal divide in India by instigating riots, they claimed.
"We disapprove any statements or gestures by any motivated group of former police officers, which is aimed at defaming the police force and its serving officers, who are performing their duty day and night at great personal risk for the safety of general public," they added.