The Indian Express reported today, about 931 encounters in Uttar Pradesh by the police since the Yogi government came to power there. The report also talks about 33 deaths, which mostly pertain to the policemen, while the most baffling point was the government’s denial of any suo motu notice from the National Human Rights Commission.
The National Human Rights Commission has initiated a notice aiming to know the grounds on which the encounters were conducted, and the reasons related to, and incidental to the encounters.
India, is now a welfare state by all means, while the State exclusively has the police powers. The criminals that were killed in the encounters, mostly belong to the western part of the state.
The cases, most specifically relate to murders, extortion and in some cases dacoity, and robbery also. The most interesting part of the entire clean up is why only criminals with petty bounty and cases at trial stages, were targeted and encountered?
The encounters have been perpetrated under circumstances which have no evidence to prove that they were done out of a legal necessity. The number of people killed is a whooping figure of 931, while it has happened over in just 10 months.
Amazingly, the encounters have had no direct bearing on the crime rate in Uttar Pradesh. The people shot dead, have no proven nexus with many crime syndicates functioning in UP. Some of them are the branded notorious elements who had deep roots in the organized crime bazaar, while most of them were independent goondas, under the Gangster Act, or the IPC.
The human rights violations that this amounts to, is a record, and a reason for UP to be ashamed of, as it is about to host an international investors summit in February.
The human rights record of UP has always been very painful, and while the current regime has promised a crime free environment that promotes, growth, the blunt murders are not a long lasting solution to tame the crime rate.
The criminal justice system has to be relied upon and with new times, methods that aim at rehabilitating the criminals need to be used, and the crime rackets are to be dismantled from within.
The lack of opportunities in UP also remains one of the reasons to push many industrious youth to the path of crime, which will attract great measures and a holistic approach to correct the future.
The task at hand with the NHRC is to conduct an independent inquiry into all the 931 encounters, to ascertain whether the people killed, were shot on the grounds of necessity, or were there any motives other than protection of the state in the mind.
The way forward, will need a social moulding and strict Police force, that instills civic discipline in UP. And the probe will reveal whether there were any just and compelling reason that led to killing of 931 people, or it was just vendetta, or a political onslaught, in disguise.