Ever since Yogi Adityanath resumed power as the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the UP police have conducted 420 encounters reportedly killing 15 criminals in less than six months as per the official statistics released on Friday. As per Indian Express report, the numbers released by the Director General of Police headquarters show that one police person also lost his life in these encounters. Jai Prakash Singh, sub-inspector, died during the encounter of with a gang of alleged dacoits in Chitrakoot. Also, so far eighty-eight policemen have suffered injuries in the encounters from March 20 and September 14, according to the numbers. The IE report added that the figures released also shows that ten of the alleged criminals were killed in just 48 days leading up to September 14.
On one hand, IG (Law and Order), Hari Ram Sharma, said that these encounters were part of police’s efforts to “control crime,” on the other hand, questions are being raised over a series of tweets by Rahul Srivastav, public relations officer at the DGP headquarters. Earlier, on September 2, following the death of wanted criminal Sunil Sharma due to injuries sustained in an encounter on the outskirts of Lucknow, Srivastav took to Twitter and said,” #uppolice encounter express halts in the capital… miles to go…” The tweet was posted along with a news clipping of the encounter.
Moreover, recently on September 12, Srivastav again took to Twitter and said, “No count is final. It’s 5 now. A 12,000 rewardee criminal Raju succumbed to bullet injuries in Shamli, another got injured in Muzaffarnagar.” As per IE report, Srivastav denied to comment on the same and pointed the queries to IG Sharma, spokesperson for the DGP’s office. Sharma added that the UP police has also arrested 1106 person in these encounters out of which 84 were injured. The officer said that the National Security Act has been invoked against 54 accused while the properties of 69 gangsters were attached under the UP Gangster and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act. “Criminals do not surrender to police without any resistance. Policemen need to fire in retaliation,” he said.
He also dismissed the suggestions of police portraying these encounters as normal and said that police is responsible for the executive, judicial, media, and people. Every encounter is probed through a magisterial inquiry. The National Human Rights Commission has been informed about the deaths.
Meanwhile, Anand Kumar, ADG (Law and Order) told IE, “We have adopted an aggressive and proactive approach towards criminals who are creating fear in society. We are identifying these wanted criminals to arrest them.” When Kumar was questioned over the encounters, he said, “They happen and are not planned. When police work proactively, there are chances that such encounters will happen,” added the report.