Uttar Pradesh has seen 38 encounter killings by the state police in the just over ten months since the Yogi Adityanath-led government assumed charge, with eight killings in about 60 encounters in the last 25 days. An Indian Express report, citing data sourced from the DGP headquarters, said that between March 20, 2017, a day after the Yogi Adityanath government took charge, and January 31 this year, the state recorded as many as 1,142 encounters. The latest was that of Manoj Kumar Singh who was killed in retaliatory firing around 3.30 am on Thursday in Sitapur’s Hariharpur village. He was an accused in 17 cases, police said.
The police aggression comes amid the Adityanath government’s ongoing crackdown on crime, an issue that featured proiminently among the Chief Minister’s poll promises in the run-up to the elections. The erstwhile Samajwadi Party government had faced heavy criticism by the then opponents for the deteriorating law and order situation.
While the number of encounters raids undertaken by the police since Adityanath took charge stands at 1,142, the report states that the total number of arrests made during the period was 2,744 and count of injured is estimated to be 265. A total of 247 police personnel also suffered injuries during the encounter.
So far there have been no accusations on the police for staging an encounter, but police and magisterial inquiries have been ordered into every encounter killing. The matter has also been taken up by the Samajwadi Party. The legislators of the party carried placards with the slogan “nirdoshon ka farzi encounter bandh karo (stop killing innocents in fake encounters)” in the UP Assembly and Legislative Council on Thursday.