GhaziabadThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including the party’s star campaigner Yogi Adityanath, on Saturday praised the UP government of effectively tackling the rising crime in the state. The UP chief minister (CM) also made special mention of Reena Bhati, BJP’s chairperson candidate from Khoda Nagar Palika. She is the wife of slain BJP leader Gajendra Bhati who was gunned down in Khoda on September 2. Bhati is contesting against Mohini Sharma, the wife of former MLA Amarpal Sharma who is in jail for allegedly hatching a criminal conspiracy in Bhati’s murder.“I wish to tell you that one of our men was murdered in Khoda. The party has given a ticket to Reena Bhati. I appeal to all of you when we are talking of re-establishing the rule of law in the state, it is necessary that criminal elements are stopped from entering politics. We will ensure that they are dealt with in a hard manner,” Yogi said.“You must have seen a change in terms of law and order during the past seven months (of the BJP government). Now you must have seen that criminals are running away from UP. We have said those who do not believe in the rule of law, murder innocent people and harass woman, we will make their life hell. Such people will have only two places to go – jails or Yamraj’s house (hell) after police encounters,” the CM said.The state government under Yogi Adityanath has taken tough measures to tackle crime. Several encounters have taken place in the state after the BJP came to power.Tackling crime was a poll promise of the BJP ahead of assembly elections.According to data released by the UP police, from March 20 to September 14, a total of 420 different encounters took place in the state with the highest, 193, recorded in Meerut zone, 84 in Agra, 60 in Bareilly, 44 in Kanpur, 19 in Allahabad, 11 in Varanasi, seven in Lucknow and two in Gorakhpur. The data also says that 15 alleged criminals were gunned down and 1,106, including 869 rewarded criminals, were arrested.BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey also mentioned Bhati in his address.However, none of the leaders made any mention of the daylight murders of three men, including BJP leader Shiv Kumar from Behlolpur, who died after being fired at by armed assailants at Tigri roundabout on November 16. A 15-year-old girl who was on her way to her coaching classes was also killed after the injured SUV driver lost control of the vehicle and overrun her.