‘Cops have to take action when criminals fire at them’ : OP Singh, DGP of Uttar Pradesh
Police have to take retaliatory action in self defence when hardened criminals open fire at them. As many as 72 criminals were killed and 931 injured in such encounters since March 2017. Most of the deceased had a long criminal history.Updated: Jan 23, 2019 08:49 IST
If criminals pose a challenge to law and order, they will always be on the target of police irrespective of caste, creed and religion, says director general of police OP Singh, reacting to the recent criticism over police encounters in the state.
Excerpts of the DGP’s conversation with Rohit K Singh, on completion of one year of his tenure as the head of one of the biggest police forces in the country:
How do you take the recent criticism over encounters by the state police?
Police have to take retaliatory action in self defence when hardened criminals open fire at them. As many as 72 criminals were killed and 931 injured in such encounters since March 2017. Most of the deceased had a long criminal history.
As many as five policemen were martyred and 522 injured in such encounters. Unverified allegations and sweeping comments on encounters are like demeaning the valour and supreme sacrifice of our men in the fight against hardened criminals.
What do you say on allegations of intentionally targeting minorities?
A criminal is wanted for violation of laws, irrespective of his caste, colour, creed, culture and religion. Some people intentionally targeted and tried to make it a political issue by identifying only Muslim criminals as proof of communal bias, whereas 44 Hindu criminals were also killed during police action. The state police have applied zero tolerance policy for crime and criminals that will be continued in the future as well.
Moreover, all police encounters in the country wherein death occurs have to undergo the test of legal scrutiny as envisaged by SC judgement and National Human Rights Commission guidelines.
What is your take on political interference in policing and attack on police, like in Bulandshahr violence?
There is no political interference. Without considering political affiliations, the police are determined to handle people sternly, if they get into conflict with law. The Bulandshahr violence is purely related to law and order. The police had immediately registered the FIR in the matter and all main culprits have been arrested and strict action is being taken against them.
What are the upcoming challenges?
The first priority is to conduct free, fair and peaceful general elections this year and we have started preparing for it. Another priority is to ensure security at the world’s largest congregation Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj, maintain law & order and ensure that crime graph is curbed in the state.
Do you think UP police’s efforts to change public perception have made a mark?
Absolutely, we have succeeded in changing public perception by reaching their doorstep through social media and citizen application UPCOP to register their complaints online. We adopted zero tolerance policy against those involved in indiscipline or any type of insensitive act.
Moreover, we have made a global impact through reaching out to non-resident Indians (NRIs) of UP through a separate twitter handle UPPoliceNRI for problems related to them and their families staying here. In January itself, as many as 50 NRIs have approached us with their problems and all were resolved on priority.
What efforts are been made to ensure safety of women and reduce crime against them?
District level monitoring is being ensured to monitor crime against women and children. We are ensuring speedy trial in such incidents to get the culprits punished for their crime. The state police personnel have been given behavioural training to handle such cases. The police are also integrating services like Women Power Line-1090 with UP100 so that women’s complaints of harassment, stalking etc are addressed.
First Published: Jan 23, 2019 08:08 IST