MEERUT Police seem to have become a soft target of mobs in western UP and this is evident from increasing attacks on cops in the region in the past few years, experts and retired officials said.The killing of inspector Subodh Kumar Singh at Syana in Bulandshahar district was an extreme case of a fearless mob attack on the police, they said.V K Sharma, a retired intelligence officer, said attacks on the police had increased because of growing aggression and arrogance among people. He clarified that police became victims of rage as they were the first to reach trouble spots.Dr Mridula Sharma, professor of psychology at Meerut College, said aggression multiplied in a mob because it had no face and, therefore, no accountability. The line between legal and illegal blurred in recent years as people found law- enforcement agencies weak in dealing with influential people, she said. All these factors encouraged mobs to take the laws in their hand and, in extreme cases, they don’t even hesitate to attack law enforcers, she said.Superintendent of police, rural, Meerut Rajesh Kumar made no bones in admitting that such incidents had increased . At the same time, he said, “I need some time to comment on why incidents of attacks on cops have increased.”RECENT ATTACKS ON POLICE IN WEST UPApril 20, 2017: BJP workers allegedly clashed with police at Doodhli village in Saharanpur over taking out a procession without seeking prior permission.May 2017: Bhim Army activists allegedly attacked the police and torched a police post when the district administration denied permission to hold a mahapanchayat.April 2, 2018: A mob torched the Shobhapur police post in Meerut and clashed with police at different places during the Bharat Bandh called to protest against a Supreme Court decision on the SC/ST Act.Aug 9, 2018: A group of kanwarias attacke police personnel and smashed their vehicle in Bulandshahr.Oct 19, 2018: BJP councilor Manish Kumar thrashed sub-inspector Sukhpal Panwar in his (Panwar’s) restaurant after a dispute over delay in serving food.Nov 14, 2018: Mining mafia opened fire and pelted a police team with stones at Dhaulra village in Saharanpur when the team had gone to investigate their complaint of illegal mining.November 16, 2018: People in Bichola village attacked the police when they went there to arrest a person after a court issued a non-bailable warrant against him.On April 20 last year, BJP workers clashed with police at Doodhli village in Saharanpur district when police objected to them carrying out a procession without seeking prior permission.Later, a crowd led by an MP and party leaders, barged into the SSP’s house in protest and damaged a few things.Caste clashes at Shabbirpur village in Saharanpur ended with Bhim Army supporters fighting a pitched battle with the police in May last year. Angry over officials’ refusal to allow a mahapanchayat, Bhim Army activists went on the rampage, attacked police personnel and burnt police outposts. An additional district magistrate and half-a-dozen police personnel were injured in the clash.A group of kanwarias smashed a police vehicle and attacked cops in Bulandshahar on August 9 this year, when they had gone there after hearing about a clash between two kanwarias.In Meerut, BJP councilor Manish Panwar allegedly thrashed sub-inspector Sukhpal Singh Panwar following an altercation over delay in serving food at the councillor’s restaurant.Attacks on police by liquor and mining mafia also became frequent in the region. In some instances, cow slaughterers too took on the police to ensure the release of their arrested aides.A group of alleged cattle smugglers attacked police personnel at Ekla Rasoolpur village in Parikshatgarh area of Meerut district on August 12, 2016. They rescued six of their arrested associates.Mining mafia opened fire on the police and pelted them with stones near Dhaulra village of Saharanpur on November 14. Police returned the fire and seized four JCB machines of the mafia from the spot.