The 2017 assembly elections in UP was a significant game-changer. The people of Uttar Pradesh sidelined all the political parties which supported the criminals and anti-social elements and elected the BJP with an overwhelming majority. After the election, the appointment of Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister came as surprise to most of the political observers. Since the advent of the Yogi government, criminals are running from pillar to post in order to save their lives. The ongoing all-out war against crime and criminals in UP has turned out to be a huge success. It has led to the eradication of many notorious and dreaded criminals from the society. There is a common notion that when the evil men from the society are eliminated; it’s the common people who have the sigh of relief. As Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it”.
However, there are some sections of media and NGOs having apprehensions about the eradication of evil men from society. Some sections of media even termed these encounters to be ‘fake’ and went on to add that innocent people are being killed in the encounter drive. Some NGOs even gave caste and religious angle to the encounter drive launched against the criminals in Uttar Pradesh. Meanwhile, CM Yogi Adityanath has already made his intentions clear that under his government, the encounter drive will be continued.
Recently, the Supreme Court on the plea of an NGO named ‘People’s Union for Civil Liberty’ (PUCL) asked the Uttar Pradesh administration to file its reply with respect to its encounter policy.
The UP government in its reply has rubbished the allegations that criminals belonging to the minority community were being specifically targeted and maintained that of the 48 criminals, who have been eliminated in the police action, 30 belonged to the majority community. The state government said, “14 cases have been arbitrarily cherry picked out of which 13 allegedly belonged to the minority community.” It further added, “It would be clear from a bare perusal of the list of criminals who were fatally injured in police action that the implication that criminals belonging to the minority community have been targeted is malicious and incorrect.”
The state government in its reply also said, “Police action is not taken based on the accused’s religion, sex, caste, creed and birth/residence and in fact action has been taken as per the provisions of law without any discrimination against criminals wanted and absconding and involved in criminal act/activities”.
The report filed by UP government said, “In the time period March 20, 2017 to March 31, 2018, a total number of 3,19,141 accused persons have been arrested in contrast to 48 fatalities in police action, which by itself is validation of the fact that the intention of the police personnel is only to arrest the accused.”
The affidavit further stated, “In many such police actions, accused persons resisting arrest opened fire at police personnel (and) as a result police in discharge of duties assigned under CrPC and in self defence had to take action in retaliation. In counter action, 409 accused were injured and immediate medical facility were provided for their treatment. In these actions, 319 police personnel received firearms injuries and 4 police personnel lost their lives on duty in these police actions.”
SC questioned UP Govt's encounter policy. UP gives break-up of deaths.
2174 encounters,roughly 5 per day.
98,526 criminals surrendered,3,19,141 arrested.
48 criminals neutralised,18 minorities & 30 majority,409 criminals injured.
4 policemen martyred,319 received injuries.
— प्रशान्त पटेल उमराव (@ippatel) November 18, 2018
It also said that the police had followed all the legal steps from registering an FIR to sending intimation to the Human Rights Commission in the cases mentioned in the petition. According to the New Indian Express report, the Uttar Pradesh government in its report also said that quick medical action was being provided to those criminals who suffered injuries in police action, relatives of the deceased were also informed, a magisterial inquiry was carried out in all cases and final report under section 173 of CrPC was submitted before the competent court in cases where the investigation had been completed.
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