After a brief lull in police encounters over the past few months, the Uttar Pradesh Police have killed at least four criminals and injured over 30 in June in more than 30 instances of alleged exchange of fire with “those facing criminal cases or carrying rewards.”
While there were no encounter killings in the past three months, in at least 15 police encounters in the past four days in the state, three wanted criminals were killed and around a dozen injured. Among those, two criminals were killed in Barabanki on Friday while one was left injured in Mathura. In all, at least 77 have been killed and over 1,100 were left injured in such police encounters since the BJP government came to power in the state in March 2017.
In March this year, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on completion of two years of his government, had said that more than 8,000 criminals were arrested and more than 1,000 injured in over 3,500 encounters under his tenure. Around 12,000 criminals claimed to have cancelled their bail and surrendered to the courts. More than half a dozen policemen were killed in the encounters.
Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General (ADG) Law and Order P V Ramasastry, however, said there was no reason to believe that there was a sudden increase in such incidents and arrests of criminals was a continuous process.
“These things (encounters) are not planned. The arrest of dreaded criminals is a continuous process. During the arrest, one doesn’t know if a criminal is going to respond violently. Sometimes, there will be more incidents where criminals resist arrest in a violent manner. Then, the use of minimum force is applied as sanctioned under the law. There is no basis for any such perception that there suddenly is a surge in encounter cases in the state,” he said.
Earlier, a statement issued by the office of the Uttar Pradesh DGP said two wanted criminals carrying a reward of Rs 75,000 and Rs 25,000 were killed in Barabanki in the early hours of Friday after they tried to jump a police barricade and allegedly opened fire at a police team.
“Acting on a tip-off that two criminals were trying flee after looting motorcycles, the police teams of Baddupur and Mohammadpur Khala police station put a barricading at Jhanjhara chauraha. When two persons tried to stop them, they allegedly opened fire at the police team with an intention to kill. In the retaliatory fire, two criminals, identified as Zuber and Lomas, were left injured. They were taken to hospital where they were declared dead on arrival,” said the statement.
Two policemen, including Baddupur station house officer (SHO) Sumit Kumar Srivastava suffered injuries and were admitted to the district hospital.
According to the statement, Zuber has 50 cases against him, lodged at different police stations in Sitapur and Barabanki. Zuber had a total reward of Rs 75,000 on his head. Meanwhile, Lomas had around 45 cases against him at different police stations in Sitapur and Barabanki and had a bounty of Rs 25,000 on his head.
In Mathura, a history-sheeter, Durgapal, with a reward of Rs 25,000, was arrested after a police encounter in the Govardhan police station area on Friday.
Another criminal, Aamir, carrying a Rs 15,000 reward was arrested by the Ghaziabad police after an exchange of fire.