The Yogi Adityanath government finds itself in the midst of another controversy over the recent spate of encounters in Uttar Pradesh. The reason behind fresh embarrassment for the Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state is an audio clip of an alleged phone conversation between a gangster and a police officer. The clip, which has resulted in the suspension of the officer in question, allegedly has the policeman asking the gangster to strike a deal with two BJP leaders if he does not wish to meet a fatal end.
The cop, Suneet Kumar Singh, who was tipping off gangster Lekhraj Singh Yadav, has been suspended. What’s more shocking is that Singh is allegedly heard telling Yadav “to manage two BJP leaders” to save himself. The BJP leaders are reported to be Rajeev Singh Parichha, BJP MLA from Babina seat in Jhansi, and Sanjay Dubey, BJP district president, The Indian Express reported.
The purported audio tape is bound to give fuel to opposition parties to question the credibility of the UP police and moreover, the Yogi Adityanath government which has seen its fair share of criticism over a spate of encounters since coming to power on March 20, 2017. A total of 48 criminals have been killed in 1,755 encounters after Yogi Adityanath took over the reins of Uttar Pradesh.
As per The Indian Express, senior police officers said Singh admitted that the voice on the clip was his. They described him as a discredited officer who was once sacked for acts of misconduct before he rejoined on the basis of a court order. They also said that Singh wanted to extort money from Yadav. Meanwhile, Parichha and Dubey denied any link to the gangster or the encounter. Parichha told IE that Singh wanted to extort money from Yadav and hence, used his name.
Jhansi SP Vinod Kumar said that Suneet Singh has been suspended and an inquiry has been ordered against him. An ASP-rank officer has been asked to conduct an inquiry into the audio clip and the encounter that took place on Friday. On the basis of his report, strict action will be taken. As per Vinod Kumar, Singh was expelled from the force in 2007 for an offence. An FIR on charges of unnatural offences was filed against him in Jalaun in 2011. He was acquitted by the court in 2016.