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Under Yogi Adityanath, UP Police Has Become A Killing Machine. It Needs To Be Stopped

Yogi had promised to finish crime and his modus operandi seems to be encounters.

Vivek Tewari, an employee of Apple, was the latest to be shot dead by the Uttar Pradesh police in Lucknow – the state capital. It is unbelievable that two police personnel to the rank of constable had the guts to fire at a person who was travelling in a car. Who has given them the authority to fire with such impunity and no fear of indictment?  We all know the answer. It is the present ruling dispensation in UP which has created an environment of extreme impunity to the police force which has claimed another innocent life.

Is it just an isolated incident/accident or is there something simmering in the state especially after the new Yogi government was sworn in. If one goes through the comments posted on the web pages of the newspapers that covered this brutal murder, one is aghast at the kind of environment that is being created in the state. Instead of being sympathetic to the victim’s family, one commentator writes, When police stops you should stop. Why run when you have haven’t done something wrong. When you run away from the police you are the suspect, Terrorists act the same way. So whatever you are or whoever you are please cooperate with the police. This is important for law and order”.

This is the environment in which the people of the state are living. This environment has been developed deliberately by the Yogi government.

Vishal, a friend of mine who hails from UP, posted a comment on my Facebook wall a few months ago regarding an article that I had written on the fake encounters unleashed by Yogi Adityanath government. He tried to convince me that the encounters were necessary to maintain law and order in the state. Just a few days before that, an employee of BHEL had been shot dead in Noida.

The law and order situation in UP is really precarious. Yogi had promised to finish crime and his modus operandi seems to be encounters. Recently, crossing all limits, a live encounter was also exhibited by the UP police.

Bravo! What a performance. But what else do you expect from a government led by a CM who has himself ideologised such squads in the form of Yuva Vahini – Yogi’s armed wing that has led to intimidation and killing of people including a police constable in Panchrukhiya village in Mahrajganj district of UP. Under Yogi’s rule, more than 2000 encounters have been conducted, in which, over 200 people were killed.

I interacted with women activists who had inquired into a dozen such encounters. To my astonishment, all those who were killed in such encounters were either Muslims or Dalits and all of them were living in abject poverty. In one case, the individual was a mentally challenged person and extremely harmless in nature. He was still shown as a threat to the society and shot dead.

Where does this exercise of eliminating people lead? This has led to a situation where the police are supposedly the biggest gangster in the state. The police force has become a killing machine with the impunity to kill at will. The license to kill does not end with killing targeted enemies as supposedly desired and designed by the UP chief minister, rather the immunity given to the cops has turned them into assaulters.

The latest case of blatant misuse of authority is the killing of Vivek Tiwari. The metamorphosis of the state police into an “assault squad” can be witnessed in UP. In this change, being brought out deliberately by the present regime in UP, the cognising capacity of the police has been corrupted. This is bound to happen because the police are ideologised on the tenets of ‘Yuva Vahini’ which was used as an assaulting organisation in the past. But the transformation of the police force from a unit of defence to a unit of assault will not just be limited to targeted killing rather will reach to the doorsteps of even those who are not enlisted. Vivek Tiwari is one in this category.

The killing machine has to stop and the cases taken up by the people’s union of civil liberties (PUCL) in the SC must be advocated staunchly to ensure that the UP state government’s killing spree is curbed.


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