Lucknow: On an overdrive to control crime under the Yogi Adityanath government, the Uttar Pradesh police has carried out 420 encounters in the past six months killing 15 criminals. One policeman died in these incidents.
Official statistics show that 10 of the alleged criminals were killed in just 48 days leading up to September 14.
Inspector general (law and order) Hari Ram Sharma said that the encounters were part of an aggressive approach adopted to “control crime”.
“Criminals do not surrender without resistance. Policemen need to fire in retaliation,” he said, justifying the exchange of fire during police action between March 20 and September 14.
The official said that the National Security Act has been invoked against 54 accused while properties of 69 gangsters have been booked under the Uttar Pradesh Gangsters And Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act.
He said that police inspector Jai Prakash Singh was killed in an encounter with dacoits in Chitrakoot and 88 other policemen were injured in the 420 encounters.
He also said that police arrested 1,106 people in the encounters which left 84 people injured.
Additional director general (law and order) Anand Kumar said, “We have adopted a proactive approach towards criminals who are creating fear in society. We are identifying these wanted criminals to arrest them.”
Mr Kumar dismissed allegations that the encounters were pre-planned. “When police work proactively, there are chances that such encounters happen,” he said.
“Every encounter is followed by a magisterial inquiry. The National Human Rights Commission is informed about the deaths,” he added.