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Mayawati questions encounter killings in Uttar Pradesh as figure rises to 18

Mayawati. File photo

Mayawati. File photo  

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BSP chief questions whether only members of a particular class or community engage in crime

Raising questions on the encounter killings in Uttar Pradesh under the Yogi Adityanath government, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Wednesday wondered if the criminals belonged to only some specific religious community or class.

"In the name of crime control, the blowing of trumpet over the police encounters in the last six months raises questions that do only members of a particular class or community engage in crime or are history-sheeters?" Ms. Mayawati asked.

From March 20, a day after the Yogi Adityanath government took oath in UP, 17 accused criminals have been gunned down in alleged police encounters.

 

Those killed in the encounters were identified as Sunil Sharma, Jaihind Yadav, Sujit Singh, Ramji Pasi, Kasim, Sharda Kol, Atiq, Gurmeet, Shamshad, Nitin, Nadeem, Naushad, Sarwar, Ikram, Raju, Jan Mohammad, Adesh Yadav and Bawinder.

Out of the 17, majority are Muslims (8), Yadavs (2) and at least two Dalits, perhaps being the basis for Ms. Mayawati's inquiry though she did not name any particular group.

The figure touched 18 on Wednesday when the police shot dead an alleged robber in Noida.

According to the police, three persons looted a vehicle, a Honda City, and Rs 1.5 lakh in cash in the sector 58 area of Noida.

"An encounter took place under police station Bisrakh area, in which two of them escaped and one was seriously injured," U.P police spokesperson Rahul Srivastava said.

SSP Love Kumar said the accused, identified as Bawinder of Aligarh, was declared dead in hospital. "A constable also received a bullet injury to his hand and is receiving treatment in a hospital," Mr. Kumar said.

Another encounter was recorded at Aligarh's Gandhi Park area on Tuesday evening when an alleged criminal carrying a bounty of Rs 12,000 suffered bullet injuries during an exchange of fire with a police team.

The accused, identified as Sachin from Bulandshahr, was taken to a district hospital and survived. Sachin is wanted in two house robbery cases in Aligarh and has around 10 cases of loot, dacoity and the Gangster Act against him in Bulandshahr, police said.

As per data released by the government in a booklet showcasing its achievements, apart from the encounter killings, from March 20 to September 14, the police have conducted 430 encounters. During this period, 868 wanted criminals were arrested while around 90 criminals were also injured during police encounters.

Police also suffered casualties, with one officer, Jai Prakash Singh, killed during an encounter with dacoits in Chitrakoot, and around 90 policemen injured over the last six months.

Stepping up the action against criminals, the police have over the last six months also seized the property of 69 persons under the Gangsters Act and Rs 35 crore worth of property from the land mafia.

Of the 18 persons killed in police encounters, the majority, 12, were gunned down in Western U.P alone, not far from the national capital. The highest number of killings were recorded in Shamli (4), followed by Muzaffarnagar (3) and Saharanpur (2). One each were killed in Mathura, Hapur and Noida.

In Eastern U.P's Azamgarh district, so far three persons have been killed, followed by one each in Lucknow, Etawah and Chitrakoot.

Ms. Mayawati said the figures presented by the BJP government belied the "insecurity" faced by common people, especially traders in U.P.

Mr. Adityanath, however, has claimed the encounter killings are an indication of the State police "coming to the front" of dealing with law and order problems.

"Common people feel safe today and the police, whose morale was low under previous governments, is coming to the front. To a large extent, we have achieved in getting rid of the atmosphere of fear..." Mr. Adityanath said on Tuesday.

Over the past six months, the government also claimed that it had booked 54 persons under the NSA, 1,145 under the Gangsters Act and 9,963 under the Goondas Act.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 5:28:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mayawati-questions-encounter-killings-in-uttar-pradesh-as-figure-rises-to-18/article19720141.ece

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