Uttar Pradesh police gunned down 31 notorious criminals in less than a year. The figures were released by director general of police headquarters on Wednesday during a review meeting. Since the time Yogi Adityanath+became chief minister on March 19, 2017, the police department has remained in an overdrive mode to smoke out criminals.
On an average, three ambushes between police personnel and criminals have occurred on a daily basis with total encounters being in excess of 920 up to January 10. While 196 criminals sustained injuries, at least 212 policemen have also been injured. Four men in uniform laid down their lives battling with hardened criminals. On January 3, Ankit Tomar, a police constable posted in Shamli district, was killed after a bullet fired by criminals injured his skull.
ADG, law and order, Anand Kumar said, “Magisterial inquiry takes place after every encounter and reports are sent to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and senior government officials. Directives are issued to field officers to hunt down wanted criminals on a regular basis and ambushes take place if criminals refuse to surrender.”
In UP, Meerut zone remained the most criminal-infested belt, with maximum number of killings and encounters taking place in districts located on borders of Haryana or Delhi.
Addressing the issue earlier, the chief minister had minced no words and said, “We will counter bullets with bullets.” On taking charge, the BJP government, led by the Yogi government, had promised a fear-free society.
The NHRC took cognizance of the spurt in encounters in UP and has issued multiple notices. The commission observed that even if the law and order situation was grave, the state cannot resort to such mechanism, which may result in the extra-judicial killings of the alleged criminals.
“The reported statement of the chief minister tantamounts to giving police and other state governed forces a free hand to deal with the criminals at their will and, possibly, it may result into abuse of power by the public servants. It is not good for a civilized society to develop an atmosphere of fear, emerging out of certain policies adopted by the State, which may result into violation of their right to life and equality before law,” the commission observed in its notice issued on November 22, 2017.