Officer Rajesh Deo was reprimanded by Election Commission of India in February.

A Delhi Police officer, who is heading the February last Delhi riots probe team, and an National Investigation Agency (NIA) officer leading the Bhima Koregaon (Maharashtra) investigation are among the 121 recipients of the Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation that was announced Wednesday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajesh Deo heads the Special Investigation Team constituted to probe the riots in northeast Delhi, where more than 50 people were killed. Mr. Deo, who was also probing the violence in Jamia Millia Islamia, was reprimanded by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in February. 

The Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Service (DANIPS) officer was pulled up by the ECI for linking an accused who had opened fire at Shaheen Bagh protestors with a political party, days ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections on February 8. The Commission had asked the Police Commissioner to issue a warning to him and not assign any poll-related work to him.

When contacted, Mr. Deo said he had received the medal for investigation in a triple murder case registered at south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar last year.

The NIA officer, Superintendent of Police Vikram Khalate, is leading the probe into the Bhima Koregaon riots of 2018. The case, probed by the Pune Police, was handed over to the NIA on January 24.

Constituted in 2018 

The excellence medal was constituted in 2018 with the objective to promote high professional standards of investigation of crime and to recognise such excellence in investigation by officers, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.

The Ministry did not provide details of the cases for which the officials received the medals.

Among the personnel receiving the medals, 15 are from the CBI, 10 each from the Madhya Pradesh and the Maharashtra police, eight from the Uttar Pradesh police, seven each from the Kerala and the West Bengal police. The recipients include 21 women officers.

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