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 AgnihotriIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Department of Social Justice Empowerment, GoI
2.Salahuddin AhmadIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
3.Shafi AlamIPS (Retd.)Former Director General, National Crime Records Bureau, GoI
4.S.P. AmbroseIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping & Transport, GoI
5.Anand ArniR&AW (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
6.N. Bala BaskarIAS (Retd.)Former Principal Adviser (Finance), Ministry of External Affairs, GoI
7.Vappala BalachandranIPS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
8.Gopalan BalagopalIAS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
9.Chandrashekhar BalakrishnanIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Coal, GoI
10.Rana BanerjiIAS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), GoI
11.Sharad BeharIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
12.Madhu BhaduriIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Portugal
13.Meeran C BorwankarIPS (Retd.)Former Commissioner of Police, Pune, Govt. of Maharashtra
14.Ravi BudhirajaIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, GoI
15.Sundar BurraIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
16.R. ChandramohanIAS (Retd.)Former Principal Secretary, Transport and Urban Development, Govt. of NCT of Delhi
17.Rachel ChatterjeeIAS (Retd.)Former Special Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
18.Kalyani ChaudhuriIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
19.Anna DaniIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
20.Vibha Puri DasIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GoI
21.P.R. DasguptaIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Food Corporation of India, GoI
22.Nitin DesaiIES (Retd.)Former Secretary and Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, GoI
23.Keshav DesirajuIAS (Retd.)Former Health Secretary, GoI
24.M.G. DevasahayamIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Govt. of Haryana
25.Sushil DubeyIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Sweden
26.A.S. DulatIPS (Retd.)Former OSD on Kashmir, Prime Minister’s Office, GoI
27.K.P. FabianIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Italy
28.Gourisankar GhoshIAS (Retd.)Former Mission Director, National Drinking Water Mission, GoI
29.Suresh K. GoelIFS (Retd.)Former Director General, Indian Council of Cultural Relations, GoI
30.S.K. GuhaIAS (Retd.)Former Joint Secretary, Department of Women & Child Development, GoI
31.H.S. GujralIFoS (Retd.)Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of Punjab
32.Meena GuptaIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, GoI
33.Ravi Vira GuptaIAS (Retd.)Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India
34.Wajahat HabibullahIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, GoI and Chief Information Commissioner
35.Deepa HariIRS (Resigned)
36.Sajjad HassanIAS (Retd.)Former Commissioner (Planning), Govt. of Manipur
37.Kamal JaswalIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI
38.Najeeb JungIAS (Retd.)Former Lieutenant Governor, Delhi
39.Rahul KhullarIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
40.K. John KoshyIAS (Retd.)Former State Chief Information Commissioner, West Bengal
41.Ajai KumarIFoS(Retd.)Former Director, Ministry of Agriculture, GoI
42.Brijesh KumarIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI
43.Aloke B. LalIPS (Retd.)Former Director General (Prosecution), Govt. of Uttarakhand
44.Subodh LalIPoS (Resigned)Former Deputy Director General, Ministry of Communications, GoI
45.Harsh ManderIAS (Retd.)Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
46.Amitabh MathurIPS (Retd.)Former Director, Aviation Research Centre and Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
47.Aditi MehtaIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
48.Shivshankar MenonIFS (Retd.)Former Foreign Secretary and Former National Security Adviser
49.Sonalini MirchandaniIFS (Resigned)GoI
50.Sunil MitraIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI
51.Noor MohammadIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, Govt. of India
52.Avinash MohananeyIPS (Retd.)Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Sikkim
53.Jugal MohapatraIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Department of Rural Development, GoI
54.Deb MukharjiIFS (Retd.)Former High Commissioner to Bangladesh and former Ambassador to Nepal
55.Shiv Shankar MukherjeeIFS (Retd.)Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
56.Pranab S. MukhopadhyayIAS (Retd.)Former Director, Institute of Port Management, GoI
57.P.G.J. NampoothiriIPS (Retd.)Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Gujarat
58.Amitabha PandeIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Inter-State Council, GoI
59.Mira PandeIAS (Retd.)Former State Election Commissioner, West Bengal
60.Niranjan PantIA&AS (Retd.)Former Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, GoI
61.Alok PertiIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Coal, GoI
62.R. PoornalingamIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, GoI
63.R.M. PremkumarIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
64.N.K. RaghupathyIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, GoI
65.V.P. RajaIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission
66.C. Babu RajeevIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, GoI
67.K. Sujatha RaoIAS (Retd.)Former Health Secretary, GoI
68.Satwant ReddyIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, GoI
69.Vijaya Latha ReddyIFS (Retd.)Former Deputy National Security Adviser, GoI
70.Julio RibeiroIPS (Retd.)Former Adviser to Governor of Punjab & former Ambassador to Romania
71.Manabendra N. RoyIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
72.A.K. SamantaIPS (Retd.)Former Director General of Police (Intelligence), Govt. of West Bengal
73.Deepak SananIAS (Retd.)Former Principal Adviser (AR) to Chief Minister, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
74.G. SankaranIC&CES (Retd.)Former President, Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal
75.S. SatyabhamaIAS (Retd.)Former Chairperson, National Seeds Corporation, GoI
76.N.C. SaxenaIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Planning Commission, GoI
77.Ardhendu SenIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
78.Abhijit SenguptaIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI
79.Aftab SethIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Japan
80.Ashok Kumar SharmaIFoS (Retd.)Former MD, State Forest Development Corporation, Govt. of Gujarat
81.Ashok Kumar SharmaIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Finland and Estonia
82.Navrekha SharmaIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Indonesia
83.Sujatha SinghIFS (Retd.)Former Foreign Secretary, GoI
84.Tirlochan SinghIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, National Commission for Minorities, GoI
85.Jawhar SircarIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI, & former CEO, Prasar Bharati
86.Narendra SisodiaIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI
87.Thanksy ThekkekeraIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Minorities Development, Govt. of Maharashtra
88.P.S.S. ThomasIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission
89.Geetha ThoopalIRAS (Retd.)Former General Manager, Metro Railway, Kolkata
90.Hindal TyabjiIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary rank, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir
91.Ashok VajpeyiIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi
92.Ramani VenkatesanIAS (Retd.)Former Director General, YASHADA, Govt. of Maharashtra

SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWSLETTER


 

Comments are closed.