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The Gujarat High Court Monday ordered the state criminal investigation department (CID) to probe involvement of two Indian Police Service (IPS) officers in the alleged assault on senior lawyer Yatin Oza during a protest in 1998.

Also called into question by the high court is the “C” summary report filed by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch, according to which there was no offence against the two IPS officers. The court has directed the CID to go into the “genuineness” of the report.

Oza had alleged in his petition that three IPS officers – P.K. Jha, Atul Karwal and Satish Verma – had beaten him during a protest in 1998 when he went to the spot to evaluate the situation after an inspector was severely injured in stone pelting and later died.

As per the case, parents of the students of New Vidya Vihar Girls School in Ahmedabad were protesting increase in school fees July 2, 1998. The protest turned violent, After the inspector’s death, police went on rampage.

Oza, who was then the sitting legislator from the area, sought to intervene in a bid to calm the inflamed passions but was assaulted by the then Deputy Commissioner of Police Jha, as well as Verma and Karwal who were present on the spot.

Oza lodged a complaint against these officers on July 3, 1998. The investigation of the case was assigned to Ahmedabad Crime Branch, which had filed a ‘C’ summary report on March 6, 2000, reporting that there was no offence in the case.

Oza then moved the high court alleging that the crime branch did not investigate the case “properly” as it was against their top officers.

Justice Bhagwati Prasad agreed with the petitioner and directed the state CID to investigate the matter. He ordered that this inquiry shall be supervised by an officer who is not lesser in rank than an additional director general of police and investigated by an officer who is not lesser in rank than a deputy superintendent of police.

While Jha is dead, Karwal is now joint commissioner of police in Ahmedabad and Verma is a deputy inspector general (DIG) of police in the state

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