Bareilly: A day after the National Human Rights Commission issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over the encounter killing of an alleged gangster in Noida, the state police department remained calm by criticism about a spate of extra-judicial killings in the past three months. Additional Director General (law and order)Mr. Anand Kumar told that the Muzaffarnagar Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) had been taken around on the shoulders of local residents and the felicitation of the Shamli SP recently explained the sentiments of the people about the police action. Local residents had hailed the aggressive stance of the department against hardened criminals.
Mr. Kumar told , “We too have taken a hit. Two of our men, one in Agra and the other in Chitrakoot, were killed during these encounters.”
“Another 90 police personnel received injuries. If the criminals have the audacity to fire at the police party, we will not hold back.”
On the NHRC notice following protest by the family of the slain criminal Sumit Gurjar, alleging a staged encounter, the ADG said, “The commission is doing its job and we are doing ours. If needed, we will set up an inquiry and get to the bottom of this to see if any foul play happened.”
According to official data, 22 criminals have been gunned down and more than 80 injured across the state. More than 1,000 hardened criminals with bounties on their heads have been arrested so far in the police action. “As against the earlier times, we are proactively and aggressively targeting criminals who have been on the run for years. The intention of the present government is clear — take the criminals head on. Further, the interference of the state machinery has been minimised to the level of only monitoring, which has eased things for the department,” Mr. Kumar said .
Encounters were a common phenomenon in the state till 2009. This changed following intervention by human rights bodies and judicial commissions. The trend had then earned the state an infamous tag for the occurrence of the highest number of alleged fake encounters in the country.
The culture of encounters is again picking up with Chief Minister Mr. Yogi Adityanath subtly sounding the bugle after taking over the reins of the state. “I warn criminals either to surrender and go behind bars or leave the state. We will not hesitate in taking strict action against them,” he had said.
Shamli SP Mr. Ajay Pal Sharma was praised by the CM when the former entered the limelight following four encounters in his district. The department, however, is not willing to soften its approach even after opposition from certain sections regarding these encounters. “Law and order has been a pressing concern in the state and it will not be addressed till the last criminal who is out in the open is brought to justice. We will relentlessly pursue our policy till then,” Mr. Kumar added.