Brahminism's Killer Cops - Who are the Terrorists ?


ASIAN AGE

Asian Age, April 4, 2000

UP police accused of ?encounters?

By Amita Verma

Lucknow, April 3 : In what could be the biggest violation of human rights in the country, the UP police shot dead 401 persons in various encounters between January 1998 and September 1999.

Of these the UP police have admitted that four encounters are fake and inquiries into these incidents were already underway. In a written reply to a question in the Legislative Assembly on Monday, the state government admitted that it did not have the criminal history of all those who had been gunned down in encounters.

Samajwadi MLA Ram Autar Shakya accused the UP police of going berserk and killing innocent persons in fake encounters all over the state. He said that the police force had become trigger happy because the goverenment lacked the political will to rein in the police. Citing a number of examples, Mr Shakya said that the UP police had lost accountability and its officials could not offer explanations for fake encounters in the rural interiors.

Later, talking to The Asian Age, Mr Shakya siad that in majotiry of the encounters staged by the police during the above mentioned period (January 1998-September 1999), the victims had been shot in cold blood in either the head or chest which caused instant death. ?In order to stop a criminal from fleeing the police is supposed to shoot in the legs so that the crimnal is disabled but there is no threat to his life.

The police - specially in cases of fake encounters - prefers to ?murder? the victims so that their theory is readily accepted by all,? he said. It may be recalled that a few minths ago, the UP police had shot dead four young boys, belonging to a minority community in Meerut and had claimed that all four were hardened criminals. Later, investigations revealed that the boys were teenaged students with no criminal record whatsoever.

More recently, in January 2000, a sub-inspector of Meerut police shot dead a young college girl Smita Bhaduri, and later claimed that it had been a case of ?mistaken identity.? Prior to this the UP police had insisted that notorious gangster, Dhananjay Singh, had been shot dead in an encounter in Bhadohi districe. A week later, Dhananjay was found to be alive and the police admitted that it had shot dead an innocent student in place of the gangster.

The National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) has already taken a strong view of the growing number of encounter deaths and custidial deaths in Uttar Pradesh. Inquiries into the incidents, however, invariably take a long time and finally end up in the cold storage.

The extent to which the police behaviour has become anti-people in UP can be gauged from the fact that in January this year, a young Sikh boy, Mandip Singh Sodhi, immolated himself infront of the Vidhan Bhawan to protest against police harassment of his family members. A week later, it was a restaurant employee, Jairam Makhija, who immolated himself after continued police harassment of his wife. In both the cases, the state goverenment set up departmental inquories that have, expectedly, not reached a logical conclusion till now.

According to police sources, the criminal history of 156 persons - of the 401 persons killed in encounters in 1998-99 - has not yet been found. This, in itself, proves the allegation that the UP police have gone berserk.

-- Karan Singh,
Dalitstan Journal,
Volume 2, Issue 1 (Feb. 2000)




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