UP Law And Order Drive: Six
Hardened Criminals Killed; 750 Wanted Men Arrested Policemen stand near ATS roundabout, Greater Noida, where a gun battle took place between two criminal gangs and the police. (Shrikumar Bajpai/Hindustan Times)

The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government is getting its act together on the law and order situation in the state with six hardened criminals having been gunned down in encounters with UP police in the past three weeks, the Economic Times (ET) has reported.

Nearly 750 wanted criminals have been arrested in UP since April, the newspaper cited police officials as saying, following criticism of the law and order situation since Yogi Adityanath took over as Chief Minister in March.

The six criminals died in five encounters (since July 29) that took place in sensitive districts of the state such as Shamli, Azamgarh and Muzaffarnagar. This is an “aggressive campaign” and a “reinvograted drive” of the police against hardened criminals, UP’s Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Anand Kumar told ET.

He said, “At least 20 of my men have also got bullet injuries. We want to use minimum force," he told the newspaper.

Superintendent of Police of Shamli, Ajay Pal Sharma, told ET that “if anyone uses firepower on us, we will reply with necessary force.”

He said police has nabbed 10 criminals after encounters in which they were injured, but their lives were saved as they were rushed to hospital.

The series of encounters started with Sharma’s team gunning down two wanted criminals, Naushad and Sarvar, on the night of 29 July. On 11 August, his team shot dead another criminal. A criminal named Sujit Singh, who escaped from a court hearing on 11 August was shot dead in Azamgarh a week later by Azamgarh police chief Ajay Sahni. On 3 August, his team had killed another wanted criminal, Jay Hind Yadav. On 16 August, the Muzaffarangar police under Senior Superintendent of Police Anant Tiwari shot dead hardened criminal Nitin Babua.

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