By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath government seems to be set on a collision course with the UP Legislative Council on the issue of fake encounters. It so happened that Legislative Council chairman Ramesh Yadav directed the Yogi government to recommend a CBI probe into three alleged fake counters in Noida and Greater Noida.
One case is related to Noida Gym trainer Jitendra Yadav, who was shot at by police inspector Vijay Darshan in a fake encounter. The 25-year-old gym trainer had stopped for a pizza at a roadside outlet in Noida when he was shot and critically injured by the inspector after an argument. The cop has since been arrested while three others have been suspended.
The issue was raised by Leader of Opposition Ahmad Hasan, who said it was an attempt to kill Jitendra Yadav. Another case is related to Sumit Gurjar, who was shot dead by police in an encounter in Greater Noida in October. Sumit Gurjar, however, was a gangster, who carried cash reward of Rs 50,000 on his head. The Legislative Council also directed the Yogi government to order a CBI probe into the murder of local BJP leader Shiv Kumar Yadav.
In a clear mood of defiance, the chief minister categorically refused to abide by the directive of the Legislative Council. The opposition has charged the chief minister with refusal to show respect to the Chair of the Council. In fact, Yogi Adityanath went to the extent of saying “we should not mockery of ourselves with such directives.”
Charging the opposition parties with showing sympathy for criminals, Yogi announced that the police action against criminals will continue. Justifying the police action, he said that more 40 hardened criminals have been killed in encounters.
According to sources quoting information from DGP Headquarters, as many as 1,142 encounters were recorded between March 20, 2017 and January 31 this year. In the last 25 days itself, eight people were killed in 60 encounters across districts.
Legislative Council Opposition leader Ahmad Hasan, who had been a senior police officer himself, said that the government had the right to conduct encounters against criminals, but not against innocent persons. He alleged that people were living in an atmosphere of fear of being killed by the police.
The issue of fake encounters was raised by the entire opposition on the opening day of budget session of UP Legislature. The opposition alleged that UP police was targeting innocent persons to complete the target of busting criminal gangs. They cited the example of Mathura, where a seven year boy was killed by the police in an encounter.
Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav claimed that the chief minister has given free hand to state police to engage in encounters. He termed these encounters as ‘suparis’. Human rights activist and former IG Police SR Darapuri has also questioned the police encounters and described a large number of them as fake. He has also sought a CBI probe into the encounters.
Last week, a Congress delegation led by state president Raj Babbar had met Governor Ram Naik and sought his intervention into the alleged ‘fake encounters’. The delegation submitted a 13-point memorandum to the Governor, demanding police reforms and making policing free from political interference. (IPA Service)