Rising pressure on police to act effectively against soaring crime and criminals in the area seems to have dragged the cops into another fake encounter controversy .
The death of three Gujjar youths in an encounter on Sunday has triggered a wave of anger and anguish amongst the clansmen of the deceased, who have demanded that the SHO of Kharkhauda police station, who led the encounter, be booked under charges of murder.
Running high on anger, the Gujjar leaders and relatives of deceased met the senior police and civil officials on Monday, demanding stern action against the cops who allegedly gunned down Praveen, Anit and Yadvendra of village Nangli Sadharanpur.
Demanding a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to each of the victims’ family, the clan leaders vowed to continue their struggle against the barbaric attitude of police against common man.
To subside the mounting pressure on police SSP Jyoti Narayan, however, announced to send Mahipal, SHO Kharkhauda, to police lines. “I have sent him to police lines for fair investigation of the case,” said the SSP elaborating that SP(city) is up on the task to find out the truth. Meanwhile, the DM has appointed a magistrate to probe the matter. A cash reward announced by the police officials to the encounter team also has been put on hold until the enquiry is completed.
The controversial encounter took place on Sunday evening. According to the police the trio criminals barged into a liquor shop on Meerut- Hapur road and shot dead its salesman Harpal Sharma when he resisted them from committing a loot. The criminals then hid themselves in a roadside field where the villagers who informed the police about their location spotted them. Soon, villagers and police cornered them inside a field and asked them to surrender. In retaliation, the three allegedly open fired and fell prey to the bullets of the police. Firearms and cartridges were recovered from their possession.
Parents and relatives of the slain criminals, on Monday, identified them through photographs published in the local newspapers. A mob of villagers then gathered at the post-mortem house, and charged the police for killing innocent youths in a fake encounter.
Their crime records, released by the police on Monday, reveal that no case was found against deceased Praveen. However, Anit had one case of beating and Yadvendra also had two cases under mild charges of beating or so.
But the policy of the state government that either deliver against the criminals or get transferred has turned most of the officials insecure about their fate. Many officials had became the victims of this policy of the government in recent months in districts like Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur.
“One officer’s eight or nine months hard work goes unnoticed if he fails to deliver in a case,” said a senior official admitting that fear of suspension and frequent transfer have increased their level of frustration which sometimes reflects in their work. However, the killing of these three youths by Kharkhauda police was perhaps the fallout of rising pressure on police to deliver against criminals as per the aspirations of the government.