‘Extra-judicial killings’ in UP targeted vulnerable social groups: Rights group report

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New Delhi | Published: May 8, 2018 9:51:34 PM

Family members of three people killed in alleged encounters in the state, claimed that the "victims" were either "abducted and tortured" by the police before being killed or died due to lack of proper medical facilities.

A report compiled by a rights group has claimed that ?extra-judicial killings? have taken place in Uttar Pradesh in recent months, with the victims mostly from vulnerable social groups such as Dalits and Muslims. (Representative photo: IE)

A report compiled by a rights group has claimed that “extra-judicial killings” have taken place in Uttar Pradesh in recent months, with the victims mostly from vulnerable social groups such as Dalits and Muslims. The report by ‘Citizens Against Hate’ group documents 16 incidents of alleged encounter killings in UP and 12 cases in the Mewat region, that took place between 2017-18. Senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan dubbed the police encounter killings in UP as “murders” and demanded a probe into all such cases by independent teams of National Human Rights Commission(NHRC). “These are extra-judicial killings, murders. Such killings by police are probed by junior level officers of the department and it cannot be independent. NHRC should get all such cases probed by its independent teams,” he said at a press conference.

The families of the victims of the alleged “extrajudicial executions” in UP, represented by Bhushan and representatives from the team of the Citizens Against Hate, met the NHRC Chairperson, H L Dattu, yesterday. Family members of three people killed in alleged encounters in the state, claimed that the “victims” were either “abducted and tortured” by the police before being killed or died due to lack of proper medical facilities.

Based on the family members’ narrations and analyses of the legal documents available, the report claimed that these alleged “encounter killings are in fact pre-meditated, extra-judicial executions”. “Victims of these killings belong to vulnerable social groups — Muslims, Dalits and Bahujans, and come from low-economic households,” the report said. The report advocates a range of amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to bring out specific and clear directions for recording of statements of family members of the victims besides the witnesses in encounter killings.

It also demanded immediate access of the family members to FIR and post-mortem reports and strengthening of the NHRC to make it play a more proactive role in protecting human rights of victims and their families. Citizens Against Hate is a collective of individuals and groups “committed to a secular, democratic and caring India”, the report says. It seeks to provide practical help to victims of hate crime and to counter, through research, outreach,advocacy and litigation, hate in all its forms.

Undeterred by allegations of “fake encounters” by the opposition, the Uttar Pradesh Police under Yogi Adityanath’s chief ministership has killed 50 dreaded criminals in over 1,400 encounters in the past over one year, officials have said.

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