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UP has been a state known well for crime. As per popular perception Mulayam & Akhilesh were well known for supporting criminals. I also subscribe to that perception owing to some anecdotal evidence. People of my home state were very thrilled that a tough religiously inclined Hindu has become the CM and now crime will be controlled. In this blog I have narrated some major incidents related to law and order. Please analyze the incidents and decide whether you are happy/unhappy with Yogi’s Ram Rajya?
Image versus Truth
CM Yogi created an image that he has eliminated ‘gunda raj’ in UP through fake encounters of criminals. The truth is that the petty criminals killed have mostly been Dalits or Muslims.
Truth about Crime in UP
As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, in 2018:
· UP topped the country in crimes against women (59,445 crimes) — a 7 per cent increase from 2017.
· UP topped the nation in gang rapes and had the second highest number of rapes (4,323 cases).
· Dowry deaths, crimes against children, crimes against senior citizens, all recorded an increase from 2017. 131 elderly people were murdered in 2018, compared to 129 killed in 2017.
· UP had the highest number of murders, 4,324 cases in 2017.
Yogi Raj is synonymous with encounter raj. In the two and half years of Yogi raj, a government report till Sep 2019, listed 4,604 police encounters leading to the killing of 94 criminals and injuries to 1571 criminals as a success of the government in crime control. A tweet of the UP Police is reproduced below:
“The figures speak for themselves. Jungle Raj is a thing of the past. No longer now. 103 criminals killed and 1859 injured in 5178 police engagements in the last more than 2 years. 17745 criminals surrendered or cancelled their own bails to go to jail. Hardly state guests”.
In a notice sent to the State Government on February 5, 2018, NHRC had observed that it seems that “the police personnel in the State of Uttar Pradesh are feeling free, misusing their power in the light of an undeclared endorsement given by the higher ups. They are using their privileges to settle scores with the people.”
As if in response, the chief minister had on February 15, 2018 stated on the floor of the State Legislature that “the police encounters will continue”, adding that “sympathy for criminals was dangerous for a democracy.”
In May 2018, NHRC ordered investigation into 17 cases of alleged extrajudicial killings on complaints filed by civil society organisations and victim families stating that “documents prima-facie show that there may be chances of failure on the part of the state to adhere to the guidelines issued by this Hon’ble Court and NHRC and the police authorities exceeding their jurisdiction at the time of the alleged encounter killings.”
Even though two years have passed since the order, the NHRC has not only failed to conduct a proper investigation, but has also failed in providing protection to the family members and human rights defenders supporting the families, against serious reprisals by the police. Lack of robust witness protection mechanisms make the family extremely vulnerable to police persecution, making access to justice a near impossibility in such cases.
Crimes with Impunity
· BJP MLA, Kuldip Sengar raped and was responsible for the killings of family members of a young girl in Unnao. It was the media glare which belatedly got some justice to the aggrieved. Please think why was Kuldeep so confident of escaping justice?
· Former BJP Union Minister, Chinmayanand, self-styled Godman, was involved in the rape of a law student. The UP government did its best to save the criminal.
· Inspector Subodh Kumar was killed by BJP supporters in Bulandshahar, apparently for fair investigation in Akhlaq’s killing by a Hindu radical mob. Shikhar Agarwal, the main accused, not only got bail but was publicly facilitated and rewarded by a powerful position by the BJP.
· Vikram Joshi was killed by molesters in Gaziabad on 21 Jul in a brazen act of total disregard for law in UP.
· A 17 year old gangrape victim and her mother were mowed to death by the rapist under a tractor in Kasganj in Jul 2020.
Please Answer Following Questions
· If you belonged to the family of Akhlaq will you expect justice in UP?
· If you belonged to the family of Inspector Subodh would you expect justice in UP?
· If you belonged to the family of Vikram will you expect justice in UP?
· If you know that the government may not get you justice then what option do you have to get justice?
· If your relative gets shot by UP Police for a petty offence or maybe even no offence then how can you get justice?
· If your relative is wronged by or is killed by a criminal with good political connections then how can you get justice?
· Is this Ram Rajya in UP?
· Can a common man do anything about this new Ram Rajya?