Few days back, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asserted that there was no place for lumpen elements and lawlessness in the state. He also pointed out his government is committed to provide security to all citizens of the state and that it will not let such people play with law. The UP Police have faced flak for the recent Kasganj violence on Republic Day in which 22-year-old Chandan Gupta was killed. At least three shops, two buses and a car were torched after Gupta was killed in clashes following pelting of stones by a mob on a motorcycle rally taken out to celebrate Republic Day.
Following this, the BJP ruled UP Government launched a series of ‘clean drives’ in the state in order remove the unwanted elements from the society. And during the last 48 hours, the UP police launched a series of encounters (around 18) across the state, and arrested 25 people on its wanted-list and killed one criminal with a Rs 25,000 reward on his head in Muzaffarnagar.
The special task force (STF) gunned down Ghaziabad’s Indrapal, who had 33 criminal cases pending against him, in western UP’s Muzaffarnagar. Indrapal was involved in a shootout in Uttarakhand ‘s Haridwar in 2013 in which a policeman was killed. In another encounter in Gorakhpur, police arrested two wanted criminals who had a cash reward of Rs. 50,000 each on their heads.
The encounters were reported from Muzaffarnagar, Gorakhpur, Bulandshahr, Shamli, Hapur, Meerut, Saharanpur, Baghpat, Kanpur and Lucknow. During the operation, the police recovered firearms, cash and cars most of which was robbed by the criminals.
However, when asked about frequent encounters in the state, the newly appointed Director General of Police OP Singh said the police fires only in self-defence. After the BJP-led government assumed power in UP, there have been about 950 encounters in less than a year, resulting in arrest of over 200 people, and killing of over 30.