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‘It’s serious’: Supreme Court on plea for special probe into UP encounters

The Supreme Court was hearing a petition that asked for a court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation team into the police encounters that witnessed a spike after CM Yogi Adityanath took charge in February 2017.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2019 13:36 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A gun at an encounter site in Noida in Uttar Pradesh.
A gun at an encounter site in Noida in Uttar Pradesh.(HT Photo)
         

The Supreme Court will next month hold a detailed hearing on a petition that seeks a special probe into the spate of police encounters in Uttar Pradesh.

It is a very serious matter which requires a detailed hearing, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said. The court will take up the case on February 12.

The top court was hearing a petition that asked for a court-monitored probe by a special investigation team into the police encounters that witnessed a spike after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took charge in February 2017.

The Chief Minister had signalled a hardline against criminals soon after he took over, warning them that they should either leave the state or be ready to face police action. In just about a year, the police had reported nearly 1,300 encounters that led to death of 44 criminals, injuries to 327 and another 3,124 arrests. Four policemen were also reported.

Human rights activists have, however, alleged that some of the encounters were staged and have sought independent probes.

Last week, the office of the High Commissioner for United Nations Human Rights also red flagged the encounters after four rights experts expressed concerns over 59 encounter deaths in 22 months from March 2017.

Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in the country, has always accounted for the largest number of complaints to the National Human Rights Commission.

But experts contend there has been an attempt to build a narrative by the state that appears to encourage police encounters, which are projected as the government’s success in clamping down on crime, and criminals. It was in this context that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in his address to top police officers, stressed that human rights were for people, not terrorists and criminals.

According to the chief minister, over 12,000 criminals had got their bail cancelled due to fear of the law.

Also Read | UP gangster scared to step out of prison, wife says police may kill him in fake encounter

“Criminals and anti-social elements will not be spared. They will have to face the heat if they get involved in crime or anti-national activities,” the chief minister said, adding that the police had claimed to give police a free hand to tackle criminals.

First Published: Jan 14, 2019 12:11 IST

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