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Friday 5 June 2020

ACP Anuj Kumar: Rioters numbered 20,000, we were 200

'We did not want to fire because many women were also participating in the protests,' says ACP Anuj Kumar who was injured along with the DCP in the anti-CAA riot that killed head constable Ratan Lal

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Among the 42 people killed the three days of continuous riots against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Delhi, while the Intelligence Bureau lost security assistant Ankit Sharma, the condition of Delhi Police that lost head constable Ratan Lal was pitiable despite being in uniform and work in groups. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Anuj Kumar was among those injured during the violence. He tells the story of how the mob surrounded him.

DCP Shahdara was seriously injured in an incident of stone-pelting while head constable Ratan Lal was shot to death. The injured ACP, recalling the 24 February incident, says that the force had disintegrated due to stone-pelting by the protesters. “Meanwhile, DCP sir had walked five to six meters away from me and was in an unconscious state near the divider and blood was coming from his mouth,” ACP Kumar said.

Kumar says that Ratan Lal was with his group facing the stone-pelters. “I saw Ratan Lal was hit. I took him to a staff nursing home. We could not get there from our trains, so we left with the help of a private vehicle,” the ACP says.

“Max Hospital was away; so we first went to GTB Hospital with DCP Sir and Ratan Lal where Ratan Lal was declared dead. Later we brought DCP Sir to Max Hospital,” the ACP said.

The ACP was injured in the riot of Delhi’s Gokalpuri area. He has been discharged from the hospital two days ago.

Kumar said, “We were instructed not to let the road connecting the Signature Bridge with the border of Ghaziabad be blocked, but gradually the crowd started growing and both men and women were there in the mob. They were around 20,000–25,000, whereas we were only 200. I don’t know that they had planned to block the road as they had done before.”

The ACP says that the personnel in the force talked to members of the crowd peacefully and asked them to demonstrate on the service road instead of the main road. “By then, rumours had started spreading that some women and children had lost their lives in police firing,” Kumar said.

“Some construction work was going on near the bridge. The protesters suddenly started throwing stones and bricks from there and we were injured. DCP sir was injured too, and his head was bleeding,” ACP Kumar said.

The ACP said the police fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd, but the effort failed due to the large distance from the protesters. “We were standing at two opposite ends of the road. We did not want to fire because many women were also participating in the protests,” Kumar said.

The ACP said that his motive was to escape with the DCP because he was injured in the stone-pelting and he was bleeding.

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