Yogi Adityanath's Crackdown On Crime—186 UP Police Encounters Since 2017, Over 5,000 Injured In 'Operation Langda': Report
In six years, between March 2017 and April 2023, 5,046 alleged criminals were shot in the leg in UP during police encounters in 'Operation Langda'.
In the period between March 2017 and present-day, when Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took charge, the state has witnessed 186 encounter cases, revealed The Indian Express report.
'This works out to more than one alleged criminal being killed by the police every 15 days,' said the report.
The TIE report is based on an investigation of police records.
Of the 186 killed in police encounters, 96 were accused of murder and two faced charges of molestation, gangrape and POCSO, according to records.
In six years, 5,046 alleged criminals were shot and injured (usually in the leg), by police, averaging over 30 incidents every 15 days.
Between 2016 and 2022, crime rates have plummeted, according to police officials. Official records show an 82 per cent decline in dacoity and a 37 per cent decline in murder.
Prashant Kumar, Special DG of Crime and Law & Order in Uttar Pradesh Police, stated in an interview with TIE: “Police encounters have never been a part of our strategy to control heinous crimes or keep a check on hardened criminals.”
Encounter deaths often go unchallenged and unquestioned, the records showed.
The completion and disposal of a magisterial inquiry, an obligatory step for every police encounter resulting in death, has occurred 161 times with no objections recorded.
During a magisterial inquiry, the magistrate must record statements from police officers involved and any witnesses who wish to speak. This report, along with the magistrate's own findings, must then be submitted. In all 161 cases, including 25 pending, no negative comments were made in these reports.
One procedural activity that follows police encounters is the lodging of a case against the killed criminal(s), as well as filing a closure report in court.
Of the 186 encounters, 156 have had closure reports filed by the police. Out of those, 141 have been accepted by the court, 15 are still pending, and in the remaining 30 cases, police investigations are still ongoing, as per the records.
Around 65 alleged criminals were fatally shot by police in districts under Meerut zone, comprising almost a third of the encounters analysed. Twenty and 14 killings were recorded in Varanasi and Agra zones, respectively.
Between March 2017 and April 2023, 5,046 alleged criminals were shot in the leg during police encounters in 'Operation Langda' including a recent incident. Meerut zone was the highest with the injury of 1,752 wanted accused getting injured.
As many as 13 policemen were killed and 1,443 injured in fire exchanges in the state between March 2017 and April 2023. Meerut zone alone accounted for one of these 13 deaths and 405 of the injuries suffered by police officers during this time period, said the report.
Gurmeet, a criminal residing in Nandanpur village in Nangal police station area of Saharanpur, became the first person to be shot dead in an exchange of fire after Yogi Adityanath took over as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on 31 March 2017. Since then, a number of police encounters have taken place.
In the latest incident on 14 May, two men, Umesh Chandra (also known as Kallu) and Ramesh, who were wanted for the murder of police constable Bhedjeet Singh, were killed in Jalaun under Kanpur zone. The constable was allegedly killed on 9 May while chasing the duo.
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