Yogi Adityanath’s one year: Crackdown on criminals continues, but problem remains in Uttar Pradesh
The police have killed 44 criminals in 1,322 encounters in 12 months, according to official data.india Updated: Mar 19, 2018 10:48 IST
Residents of Dalit-dominated Bhalinpurwa village in Gonda celebrated when the police nabbed an alleged criminal who had spread fear in the area after an encounter on February 20.
There were accolades for police constable Mohit Yadav who was injured in an exchange of fire with Rampher and his gang.
But locals say their joy was short-lived because, soon after, the police refused to register an FIR into a complaint by a local, Ram Janam Raidas, whose daughter was assaulted as she was returning from a field. Raidas says he ran from pillar to post for a week to get his complaint registered, but in vain.
“I went to the police station with gram pradhan Ramlal Singh. The policemen assured me that action will be taken against the accused. I am awaiting police action even as the culprits are moving freely,” he said.
Another villager, Neru Raidas, said: “There is no doubt that police operations have increased after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power last year. Criminals are on the run but people were yet to get relief from day-to-day incidents of loot, chain snatching, harassment, vehicle lifting and sexual assault.”
The police have killed 44 criminals in 1,322 encounters in 12 months, according to official data.
After being sworn in as the chief minister on March 19 last year, Yogi Adityanath had announced that criminals should either leave the state or be ready to face police action.
Before the Investors’ Summit (February 21-22) in Lucknow, the police further stepped up pressure on the gangs active in the state. Twenty-nine criminals were killed in encounters since the announcement of the summit was made in November last year, according to figures released by the state government.
Officials of the home department and other senior officers maintain that the police have opened fire on the criminals in “self-defence”.
This contention is challenged by several activists, though.
State secretary of the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Ram Kumar, alleged that some of the encounters were staged and failed to deter criminal elements, adding that there had been spurt in the crime graph in the state.
But former director general of police Prakash Singh said the Yogi Adityanath government had inherited a bad law and order situation in the state.
Singh, who is considered the architect of police reforms, said the police were cracking down on criminals who had a chequered history, while adding that the state government must ensure that the Supreme Court and the human rights commission directives were followed in operations against criminal gangs.
The encounters have had an effect in some areas. For instance, in Shamli, two allegedly notorious criminals Irshad and Salim met superintendent of police Ajaypal Sharma last month to assure him that they would not indulge in crime, purportedly out of fear of police action.
SK Dwivedi, former head of the political science department in Lucknow University, said: “The law and order situation is better in comparison to what it was under the SP and BSP governments. The focus should be on strengthening the lower machinery of the police. Encounters are no remedy for the poor law and order situation. Criminals should be neutralised only in unavoidable circumstances.”