Soon after becoming the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath’s encounter raj started. He has given free hand to the UP police to carry out encounters. Within six months, the UP police carried out 420 encounters killing 15 people. Till 2018, the state police carried out more than one thousand encounters killing 32 people and leaving over 200 injured. Most of those who were killed in the encounters are Muslims or from the backward castes. These people were accused of petty crimes. According to a report published in The Wire, these encounters are suspicious and may be extra-judicial killings. The reporter Neha Dixit met the families of 14 victims and 13 of them were Muslims.
These encounters came under scanner of international bodies as the High Commissioner for United Nations Human Rights Council expressed grave concerns over the fake encounters in the UP.
“We are extremely concerned about the pattern of events: individuals allegedly being abducted or arrested before their killing, and their bodies bearing injuries indicative of torture,” said the UN experts.
These encounters were carried out in the name of maintaining law and order and safety and security for the people. Yogi, who himself is accused in many crimes, had boasted about these encounter saying that “agar apradh kerenge to thok diye jaayenge”. Yogi had presented these encounters as an achievement claiming that it gave people security to people.
“Today, the people are secure and safe. The police used to be scared that if we act against criminals, we will be acted against. We have changed that. The police is leading from the front,” Yogi has claimed.
The statement made by Yogi was not just baseless but also in contravention of the law. The Supreme Court had categorically said that the duty of the police is not to kill the accused.
“It is not the duty of the police officers to kill the accused merely because he is a dreaded criminal. Undoubtedly, the police have to arrest the accused and put them up for trial. This Court has repeatedly admonished trigger happy police personnel, who liquidate criminals and project the incident as an encounter. Such killings must be deprecated. They are not recognised as legal by our criminal justice administration system. They amount to state sponsored terrorism,” held the apex in a 2012 case.
Baseless Claim of Security
The baseless claim that the state has achieved safety through encounters has got exposed now in 2020. One can fairly observe that the crimes continued to happen in Uttar Pradesh despite all these encounters. But recently the killing of eight policemen by a gangster Vikas Dubey in Kanpur clearly exposed the condition of the security in the state. It is so serious that even the policemen could not be spared.
The saga of Vikash Dubey has brought out that how the dreaded criminals were fostered in UP. The gangster Dubey is roaming free even after killing 8 policemen as the UP police failed to nab him. The gangster had strong political connections with the ruling BJP and strong influence in the police forces. Dubey succeeded in killing the policemen because he was tipped off about the raid the police was going to conduct against him by the policemen themselves. Dubey was fearlessly roaming free in the state despite having sixty criminal cases in his name. He was also accused of killing a state minister. Despite having so many criminal cases in his name and committing serious crimes, his name did not figure in the top 10 and 25 criminals.
It has been going a week to the killing of the policemen but the UP police did not nab this dreaded gangster till 8 July. He reportedly went from Uttar Pradesh to Haryana while the police was searching him. His home was demolished and his aide was killed. But the police did not hold him. The question arises that how the gangster went from one state to another when the state police was alert to get him?
This is the same police which showed extraordinary interest in killing the accused in the encounters. The same police indiscriminately opened fire at the anti-CAA protesters and killed around two dozen Muslims during the protests. The same police has jailed a doctor Kafeel Khan over a mere speech against the CAA under the NSA. The state police is very adept in crushing dissenting voices but incompetent in nabbing a gangster who is absconding after killing 8 policemen. The question arises that for what purpose CM Yogi is using the UP police? Is it for stopping crimes or crushing dissenting voices?
Not only the case of Vikash Dubey but there are a number of cases which clearly reflects the breakdown of law and order in UP. The chief minister, who himself ignores the law while giving statements, has completely failed to establish law and order in the state. In past months, many high level killings were carried out under his ruling. Rightwing leaders including Kamlesh Tiwari were killed in broad day light. In the same day when Dubey killed policemen, four members of a family was murdered in Allahbad. A Dalit girl and his father was killed in the state.
All this shows that the encounters carried out by the UP police have nothing to do with the safety and security. It was Yogi Adityanath’s personal or ideological vendetta against those who were killed in the encounter. All this claim of safety and security under Yogi regime is an utter lie and crude propaganda. There is Gunda raj in the state.