Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday informed the state Legislative Council that 40 criminals have been killed in 1,200 encounters in the state so far and asserted that such encounters would continue. Adityanath also said that sympathy for criminals was dangerous for a democracy. He was speaking during Zero Hour on the question of propriety raised by BJP’s Devendra Pratap Singh after Chairman Ramesh Yadav’s February 13 directive to the government, asking for a CBI probe into three cases, including two alleged police encounters.
Alleging that “everyone” knew who “patronised” criminals in UP, Adityanath said: “Barah sau encounters mein chalees se adhik aparadhi mare gaye… aage bhi yeh silsila thamega nahi (In 1,200 encounters, more than 40 criminals have been killed and this trend will not stop).” He added that different types of crimes were taking place in the state and the government was answerable to the people. Indicating towards the Opposition, he added: “Mujrimon ke prati sahanbhuti… loktantra ke liye khatarnak hai (Sympathy towards criminals is dangerous for a democracy).” Adityanath referred to a recent encounter in Noida, when police shot at Jitendra Yadav, which is among the cases the Chairman sought a CBI probe. “Police does not consider this incident as an encounter. Even the person who was shot said it was not an encounter. Still, we took action against the accused policeman and sent him to jail,” he said.
Alleging that such issues were being raised by the Opposition to divert attention, Adityanath said the Chair should not issue directives that could be questioned. “…Directives should not be issued on things that are out of our jurisdiction… caution should be maintained so that we do not become an object of mockery…” As the Opposition objected to Adityanath’s remarks and pointed out that he had questioned the Chairman, SP member Sanjay Lathar demanded a “debate” over the issue, alleging that these were “extra judicial killings”.
Leader of Opposition Ahmed Hassan maintained that once an order was passed, it should not be withdrawn. Amid the uproar, the Chairman said that he reserves his decision over the issue. Later on Thursday, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Ram Govind Chaudhary also demanded a CBI probe into the alleged “fake encounters”. Referring to Adityanath’s remarks in the Council, Chaudhary said in the Assembly: “Apradhi ko koi pasand nahi karega… par kanoon ke dwara kanoon ka rajya hona chahiye (Nobody likes criminals but the rule of law can only be established through legal ways).”
Objecting to Adityanath’s recent statement — “bandook ka jawab bandook se diya jayega” — Chaudhary said such language is inappropriate for the CM’s office. He added that whenever police are given a free hand, governments land in trouble and demanded CBI probe all encounters in the state. Chaudhary said that if Adityanath’s claim was true that most criminals have been sent to jail, many have been killed and the remaining have left UP, then “who is doing crimes in the state”. He added that in a state where the CM, his deputy and the DGP “move around with commandoes”, the claim of “bhaya mukta vatavaran (fearless environment)” was wrong.