The UP state police, in the first 16 months of the Yogi Adityanath government, recorded more than 3,000 encounters in which at least 78 criminals were gunned down. Yogi Adityanath took charge as chief minister on March 19, 2017. An official in the DGP office said the data in question was recorded between March 2017 and July 2018.
The figure of encounters, the killing of criminals, and arrests has made it to a list of government achievements to be publicised on Republic Day in the state. UP Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey has sent the communication to all districts magistrates ahead of Republic Day with a list of the achievements of the government.
The letter says a statewide campaign was being run to arrest wanted criminals for an effective control on crime. As per the letter, there were 3,026 encounters till July 2018. In these encounters, 69 criminals were gunned down, 7,043 criminals were arrested, and 838 criminals sustained injuries. The letter claims that in the same period, 11,981 criminals had their bail canceled and surrendered in courts.
The letter adds that the Special Task Force (STF) gunned down nine other criminals in encounters and arrested 139 others.
An analysis of the data shows that during this period, an average of six encounters took place every day, with 14 criminals arrested. Also, at least four criminals were killed in encounters every month. In first nine months of the government till December 15, 2017, 17 criminals were killed – an average of only 1.8 per month. However, this figure rises exponentially for the next seven months: between January 2018 and July 2018, 61 criminals were killed in the encounters – an average of 8.71 per month.
Last year, the government had sent a similar letter to all districts magistrates for highlighting during the 2018 Republic Day programme. As per that circular, 17 criminals had been killed and 109 were arrested during the action that the police took in “self-defence”, starting from the date the government was formed, till December 15, 2017.
Last year’s letter highlighted the data of number of people booked by anti-Romeo squads. But the communication made this year makes no mention of these figures. A senior official said, “Anti-Romeo squads are functional. The data of their action was sent but it was cut out in the letter for unknown reasons.” In the letter, the government has also highlighted the initiatives it claims to have taken for farmers during this period, including figures of loans waiver, and the payment made to sugarcane farmers this year.