Badaun People Happy With Police Action

Badaun People Happy With Swift Police Action In Double Murder Case

Anshul Jain, a native of Badaun and a socio-political expert, says the timely action in the recent double murder case has strengthened the trust of electorate in UP Police and Yogi Govt. His views:

The entire Badaun district was in shock when two local barbers, Sajid and Javed, in the Baba colony area killed their neighbour’s two minor sons Ayush, and Ahaan on March 19. Though the police failed to give any concrete reason behind the heinous crime, all it has to say is that the accused Sajid, who was killed in an encounter, was mentally unstable.

Though the police nabbed Sajid and killed him in an encounter while he was trying to escape from police custody, his partner in crime, Javed was later arrested from Bareilly. The entire episode is shrouded in mystery as the assailant Javed has not been revealed much about the motive of the crime. A frustrated Vinod also tried to immolate himself in front of the SSP office on March 24 but the police had nothing much to add to its investigation.

Nevertheless, the issue has not acquired any political colours and by and large, Badaun voters feel that the action of police personnel was swift and the crime situation in the district as well in the state has been satisfactory. Meanwhile, higher officials of Uttar Pradesh police have denied a communal angle to the crime.

ALSO READ: ‘Yogi Govt Real Test Lies In Reigning In Mafia’

Talking about the effect of the incident on the elections, it is hardly going to hamper the prospects of BJP that has its MP (Sanghmitra Maurya) representing the Lok Sabha seat. In 2019, Maurya secured nearly 47 per cent votes and won by a margin of about 20,000 votes defeating his nearest rival Dharmendra Yadav of SP. This time, the BJP has declared Durvijay Singh Shakya as its candidate and his chances are even better this time thanks to the image of Adityanath Yogi.

Badaun has about 20 lakh voters with 3.5 lakh Muslim, 3.5 lakh Yadavs, 4 lakh general category voters and about 2.5 lakh Shakya (OBC) voters. The main fight is between the BJP and the SP and if BSP files a Muslim candidate from the seat, it is going to dent SP and benefit BJP.

The Samajwadi Party has used the Badaun incident to attack the Yogi government for the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. However, according to locals of Badaun, who are shocked after the incident and are standing with the family, the chief minister has got his 2nd historic term in the state over his brilliant performance on the law and order front. Even in the current horrific incident, the mood of electorate is one of laudatory for the role of state police and state administration.

As told to Rajat Rai

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Youth Arrested In Saharanpur Over Post Threatening ‘Pulwama-Like’ Attack

The Uttar Pradesh Police arrested a youth over a social media post threatening a repeat of the 2019 Pulwama terror attack, police informed on Thursday.

The accused was identified as Mohammed Talha, a resident of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand’s Seraikela. He was arrested by Deoband Police over his post on X.

A case was also registered against the accused under stringent sections, the police said.

Senior Superintendent of Police of Saharanpur, Vipin Tada told ANI, “Police received information at Deoband police station that a youth posted some objectionable comments on Twitter (now X), in which he threatened a repeat of the Pulwama terror attack.”

“Taking note of the post, the local police have registered a case and the young man has been questioned. He confessed to putting out the post out of anger,” Tada added.

He said that the intelligence department and police have initiated a thorough probe to understand the motive behind the post.

“The police informed other agencies and a forensic investigation has been initiated on his seized mobile phone,” the SSP informed further.

Further investigation into the matter is underway, the SSP added.

The incident comes nearly a week after a terror attack on army vehicles at Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch in which four Jawans were killed.

According to official sources, the Army is planning to increase the number of troops in the Poonch-Rajouri sector to curb the activities of the Pakistan-based terrorists there.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chaired a high-level meeting to take stock of the situation in the wake of the terror attack.

“I want to assure you that, as far as the government is concerned, the government stands by you and we give equal priority to your welfare and your convenience. We try to take steps based on whatever information is given to us,” the Raksha Mantri said.

Singh said the army is more well-equipped than before to deal with such threats.

On February 14, 2019, forty personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed when their convoy was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethapora in the Pulwama district on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

The attack is believed to have been carried out by Pakistani terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed. (ANI)

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‘Security Apparatus of A District Court Must Be On Par With High Court’

Arun Verma, a lawyer at Lucknow civil court where a gangster was shot down on June 7, says police must learn its lessons from the horrific incident. His views:

Early this week, in a first of its kind incident, a gangster named Sanjeev aka Jeeva was shot down inside the Lucknow civil court premises. Barely half an hour before the shooting, a man brandishing a knife tried to attack his wife, a lawyer, in a brazen attempt to kill her. Mercifully, he was overpowered by the lawyers and handed over to the police.

In the Jeeva shootout case also, the cops present inside the courtroom were seen running for cover after the first shot was fired. Here too, the shooter was overpowered by the lawyers. If a person, be it an accused or an under trial, is not safe inside the court or the courtroom, what is the guarantee of his/her life in the state? The shooter had disguised himself as a lawyer with the professional black coat attire, cocking a snook at the ever deteriorating scrutiny at the entrance.

Clearly, there is no fear among criminals to carry out daring attacks on the court premises because of lax security and careless policing. A casual look at the court premises blueprint will give you a better idea. Of the eight entry and exit points in the civil court, only five are fitted with Door Frame Metal Detectors. The less said about the alertness of the security personnel on duty, the better. The police guards at the entry points are mostly busy fiddling with their phones; the metal detector beeps fall on deaf ears.

Two days after the killing, six UP Police personnel were suspended for dereliction of duty. However, the action is a cosmetic measure. After a few months of inquiry, the suspension will be revoked and they will report back on duty. All this is a familiar occurrence. After every breach of security in courts, a pattern is followed: Representatives of lawyers and top police officials hold meetings; beefing up the security is agreed upon; briefly there are more boots on the ground; then after a few weeks everything is back to Square One.

ALSO READ: ‘There Is Something Fishy About Atiq-Ashraf Killing’

The requirement for better security in lower courts is a long pending demand of lawyers. The legal fraternity wants the security of a district court to be at par with that of state high court, where a standard operating procedure is followed for surveillance and scrutiny of the visitors. Entry passes, identity cards must be verified by trained personnel and only the genuine complainants, litigants and lawyers must be permitted inside after proper body scan and luggage checking. This is not a complex procedure to follow but the will is missing.

The Jeeva shootout incident is yet another setback to the tall claims of the police and the administration regarding the law and order situation in the state after two dreaded criminals, Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf, were shot dead in full security cover while being taken for a routine medical checkup. It’s high time that such incidents be taken serious note of before the government and police image is irreparably damaged.

As told to Rajat Rai

‘Opinion on Atiq’s Killing is Divided in Prayagraj; Some Hail It, Others Condemn It’

Utkarsh Singh, a pharmacist in Prayagraj, says while some feel Atiq’s killing was destined others say such incidents undermine justice deliver system. His views

The recent killing of Atiq Ahmed, a former Member of Parliament, has shocked and outraged the people of Prayagraj. Atiq Ahmed has been a controversial figure in Prayagraj politics. He was known as a dreaded mafia don with a history of criminal activities but at the same time he also enjoyed popular support among a section of the Prayagraj electorate.

The killing has therefore sparked to diagonally opposite set of reactions. Some see it as a welcome end to a notorious underworld figure while others believe that such extrajudicial killings are a threat to the rule of law and the democratic process in the state. It all depends on which side of political spectrum are you from.

Those who see Ahmed’s killing as a positive development argue that he deserved to be punished for his past crimes: If you live by the gun, you will die by the gun. One reason for their support is our sluggish legal system where justice is either delayed or provides many a loophole for the criminals to continue operating even from inside the jails. This group also lists out Atiq’s involvement in multiple cases of murder, extortion, and other criminal acts. They believe that the death of such a person will send a strong message to other criminals and act as a deterrent for others to take such a course.

ALSO READ: ‘There is Something Definitely Fishy About Atiq’s Killing’

The other set of group in Prayagraj believes that violence can never be the answer and the live-on-camera killing only shows UP police in poor light which will embolden other criminals. This group feels our political leaders should set an example for the community by resolving their differences peacefully and avoid rhetoric statements such as “mitti me mila denge” (will reduce them to dust)

I too feel that no matter what a person’s past is, extrajudicial killings cannot be justified. Such killings undermine the rule of law and democracy. Many have pointed out that the Indian Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to a fair trial and due process of law. Ahmed too should have been brought to judicial trial and held accountable for his crimes through legal means.

There are also concerns about the potential impact of Ahmed’s killing on the upcoming state elections. Ahmed was a leader of the Apna Dal (S), a small regional party which has been seeking to expand its presence in the region. His death could have implications for the party’s fortunes in the upcoming polls.

Overall, the killing has stirred up strong emotions and debates in Prayagraj. While some see it as a necessary step in the fight against crime, others believe that it is a dangerous precedent that could have serious implications. In any case, the incident has highlighted the need for a greater focus on addressing the issue of crime and violence in the region, as well as the need to strengthen the rule of law and ensure justice for all.

As told to Deepti Sharma

Atiq’s Killing is Not a Simple Story of Crime & Punishment; There is Something Fishy’

Tariq Umar, a businessman from Prayagraj, says the role and professionalism of Uttar Pradesh Police is also suspect in the killing of gangster-turned politician Atiq Ahmed. His views:

There is a popular saying that if you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf, who were killed live on camera from point-blank range, were dreaded gangsters who had unleashed reign of terror in Prayagraj. Every criminal, big or small, is destined to be brought to justice sooner or later. Probably, the same happened in the gangster-turned-politicians Atiq and Ashraf.

Having said that I must add that there is more to theses killings than meets the eye. It looks like a well thought out and cleverly planned conspiracy to eliminate the duo. And the role and professionalism of the police team accompanying the two convicts also creates suspicions of the killings being pre-planned. While UP Police of late is being praised for neutralising criminals, this particular incident shows them in poor light.

There was also pure negligence of the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court regarding handling and protection of criminals in custody. The manner in which the convicts were being produced late in the evening, surrounded by TV News Channels, also raises doubts about the legal procedures being followed.

I have been a first-hand witness of the atrocities of Atiq Ahmed’s criminal activities. His musclemen once forcibly entered into the house of a family friend and threatened them openly to fall in line or face consequences. Another stark example of his atrocities were disclosed recently before a news channel by Sadiq, a witness of the murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal.

Tariq says conspiracy theories abound over the killings

The media has already reported how judge after judge recused themselves from hearing the cases against Atiq Ahmed. When even higher judiciary is afraid of these gangsters, one can gauge how much influence and power they wielded in their hay days. It is believed that Atiq’s reach was everywhere, from the corridors of power in Lucknow, Delhi or courts and police stations.

ALSO READ: ‘Mastermind of Atiq’s Murder Still Behind The Curtain’

But this does not mean that the criminals be denied a fair trial. Any extra-judicial killings – be that in the case of Vikas Dubey or Atiq Ahmed, will only harm India’s criminal justice system. We need to strength people’s faith in justice.

Meanwhile, the matter has become a political football, where everyone is trying score a point either by expressing ‘sorrow’ and concern for the deceased family or by praising the elimination of the crimnal duo. Some are fanning a conspiracy theory that the plot to kill the two convicts was hatched in the chief minister’s office and Yogi Adityanath is the real ‘mastermind’ of this action.

As far as the citizens of Allahabad (now Prayagraj) are concerned, we feel the city has one criminal gang less now. This historic city has seen many criminals rise, prosper but ultimately razed to the ground. Such has been the fate destined by all of them by the Almighty.

Initially, most of us were more bothered by the suspension of Internet facilities in the city than the killing of Atiq and his brother. For internet impacted our daily life more. Thankfully, the region has by and large been peaceful and its lovely people are moving ahead with their routine life in the same pace.

As told to Rajat Rai

‘UP Govt Wants Folk Singer Neha To Become A Caged Parrot’

‘UP Govt Wants Folk Singer Neha To Be A Caged Parrot’

Shekhar Dixit, a social worker based in Lucknow, says the police notice to folk singer Neha Singh Rathore reveals insecurity of UP Govt which can’s stand creative criticism

Neha Singh Rathore is a folk singer who gained popularity during the Vidhan Sabha election last year. Her song, UP me ka ba, mocked the BJP claims about Uttar Pradesh. Rattled with the viral song, the BJP responded with a folk song sung by their MP Ravi Kisen. That was a healthy contest. Recently, when a mother and daughter died in a recent bulldozer action, Neha released Part 2 of her song, highlighting the tragic incident. However, this time the UP Government responded with a police notice to the artist.

The Police action reflects sheer uneasiness and a sense of insecurity of the ruling dispensation. Police and the administration under the current regime have been given a free hand and unbridled power, as a result of which they have gone berserk. All the officers want to be in the good books of the government for plum postings and preferential treatment.

The police in this case have responded with Godspeed! As soon as the song was released on social media, a police team reached her in-laws house in Ambedkar Nagar. When they could not find her there, they reached her New Delhi house in record time.

To intimidate the singer, they cautioned her (through the notice) that if an explanation is not given in the stipulated time or the reply is unsatisfactory, action will be initiated under several sections of the IPC and CrPC. A similar `swiftness’ was missing during other and more shocking crimes like the Kanpur tragedy itself or the Prayagraj daylight shooting.

Dixit wants Neha Rathore’s song to be judged by public and not state

The real issue is that the Yogi government is on the backfoot over the Kanpur bulldozer action, since this time the deceased had no criminal background. The bulldozer which has been projected as the instant justice to criminal elements in Uttar Pradesh, clearly went berserk in its overdrive and caused tragic loss of innocent lives. Any attempt to highlight the incident is being pro-actively ‘managed’. Hence the action against Neha Singh Rathore

ALSO READ: BJP Wants To Dictate What To Eat, What To Speak

I believe this case must be placed before public court: if Neha’s song hurts someone’s sentiment or promotes disharmony, let people boycott it or initiate legal action against her. Let people decide whether the song rues the living condition or it has an ulterior motive. A direct police action merely reveals the insecurity of the state government.

In a democracy, everyone has the right to speak his/her mind. There is a difference between a sarkari poet and a folk singer. This government wants a folk singer to become caged parrot and sing only their tune.

Of late, UP Police has made it a habit to waste their efforts and energy at wrong places and unnecessary engagements. If the police and administration keep trying to be more loyal than the king, they will be only bring shame to the government which will, in the long run, could cost them their gaddi.

Read More:

As told to Rajat Rai

Two Dalit Sister

6 Arrested People For Raping, Killing Two Dalit Sisters: Lakhimpur Kheri

A total of six persons have been arrested in the case of two Dalit minor sisters found hanging from a tree in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh, the district’s Superintendent of Police informed on Thursday.

“Total six accused involved in crime in different ways, arrested. Accused identified as Chotu, Junaid, Sohail, Hafizul, Karimuddin and Arif,” said Sanjeev Suman, Superintendent of Police, Lakhimpur Kheri.
According to the SP, the accused Junaid was nabbed in an encounter where he was shot in the leg.

The SP disclosed that the accused were friends with the deceased girls.

“The girls were yesterday lured to farms and raped by Sohail and Junaid. After the girls wanted the accused to marry them, Sohail, Hafizul, and Junaid strangulated and killed them. They then called Karimuddin and Arif and hanged the girls to eliminate any proof,” SP Sanjeev Suman said.

As per Suman, all the accused persons other than Chotu hailed from Lalpur village in Lakhimpur Kheri.

Chotu, who was a neighbour of the girls, had introduced the two girls to these boys and he too has been arrested, the SP added.

He further added that this was a preliminary probe and the post-mortem will start in about 2-3 hours.

“A panel of three doctors is conducting the post-mortem… the crime is against women and against a weaker section of society. We worked with speed and sensitivity. The accused have been booked under section 302, 376 of Indian Penal Code and the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO) act,” he added.

On Wednesday evening, the bodies of two minor Dalit sisters were found hanging from a tree in Lalpur Majra Tamoli Purva village under the Nighasan police station of Lakhimpur Kheri district.

Local villagers and the girl’s family lodged a protest as they marched and blocked the road demanding justice for the victims.

The family of the deceased had accused three men of rape and murder and staged a demonstration at the Nighasan crossing, a few kilometers from the village.

Lakhimpur Kheri superintendent of police (SP) Sanjeev Suman, along with the police force, rushed to the protest site and assured villagers that strict action will be taken against the accused.

Lucknow range inspector general (IG) of police Laxmi Singh, while talking to ANI, had said, “Dead bodies of two girls were found hanging from a tree in a field outside a village in Lakhimpur Kheri. No injuries were found on the bodies.”

The police officials present there had also urged the villagers to call off their roadblock and cooperate with the post-mortem examination. (ANI)

Life Safer for Women in UP

‘Yogi Didn’t Change Policemen, He Changed Policing’

Shruti Gupta, an independent Chartered Accountant in Lucknow, says initiatives like emergency response and pink booths have made life safer for women in UP

I am a Chartered Accountant and till about a few years ago, I was working with a private company in Lucknow. Three years ago, I started my own firm, along with my husband (also a CA) and feel good about taking that decision. What caused this transition and gave me the confidence to take the plunge is directly associated with the law and order situation of Uttar Pradesh in general and Lucknow in particular.

When I was an employee, my daily concern was to wrap up work in time and reach home before it was dark. Even though Lucknow is a cultured city, traveling late for a woman alone caused concerns. Since accounts is stream where, several times in a year, workload get heavy, it would be stressful. This affected work and family both.

I always thought it would be better to start one’s own independent business but everyone in the family and friends circles advised against us. For, it would mean dealing with unwanted elements, even paying up extortion money to avoid unpleasant incidents.

However, two years of Adityanath Yogi taking over as Chief Minister and we could see a change in the situation. Crime rates dropped and there was a marked improvement in the law and order, be it organised law-breakers or petty street incidents. I would say that CM Yogi didn’t change the police staff but he changed the policing.

One particular incident on a late evening during lockdown sealed my decision to start my own accounting services setup. On that day, despite the lockdown, an important work warranted our physical presence in the office. By the time our work was wrapped up, it was dark and no scope of finding a public or private vehicle to return home.

ALSO READ: BJP Did Good Work In UP, But Also Polarised Society

We had heard of Yogi Govt initiative of emergency helpline 112 but were apprehensive about it, having seen how state services function in Uttar Pradesh. Yet, I took a chance and called the emergency response line.

Much to my surprise, a polite lady answered the call and patiently took down my details. I was told that help was on its way and the lady sub-inspector, Reena Choudhary, also gave her personal mobile number in case of any emergency. And lo, soon enough a PRV (Police Response Vehicle) van arrived at our office with female cops. I was dropped home with a request to avoid violating Covid curbs in future.

The same year, 24×7 Pink Police Booths, to assist women in distress emerged in the city. Such progressive steps were unimaginable in Uttar Pradesh. I needed no further persuasion to set up my own accounting firm. Having worked in the sector for three years, I could generate a respectable client base and, a few hiccups later, we soon reached a break-even point. From there, it was easy to turn corners and now I am happy to see a stable structure in place.

I sincerely want to thank the new dispensation in Lucknow to give the courage and confidence to a woman to start on her own. As I mentioned earlier, the change was not brought about by transferring of police personnel and placing one’s own people in place, as was the norm in earlier governments, but by changing the policing system. With a vigilant police presence in the city, there is no scope for miscreants. It is heartening to see women in khaki guarding the nook and corner of Lucknow on swift-moving pink scootys.

The stress and silly mistakes that came with it are now a thing of the past. I have a much relaxed work atmosphere and there is peace of mind. Parents and relatives, who were opposed to the idea of launching a business venture in UP, are happy and satisfied now. Discipline flows from the top and this is what we saw in last five years.

As told to Rajat Rai

Watch – ‘If You Kill A Cop, Your Days Are Numbered’

LokMarg speaks to former Director General of Police Vikram Singh about the reason behind rise of dreaded gangster Vikas Dubey and the ‘police encounter’ that ended his crime run. Singh feels corruption and caste are the real culprit behind rise of criminals in the state, and the likes of Vikas Dubey are present in every block and district of UP.

In this interview, he also slams the candle-holding civil society members who question each and every police encounter, saying that killer of a policeman, in every society and nation across the world, does not survive long.

There Will Be Blood

Within hours after the news broke that the dreaded Uttar Pradesh gangster Vikas Dubey was killed in a “police encounter” early on July 10, the media, social media and messaging apps went abuzz. While there were stray voices of reason and rights, one particular message on WhatsApp dominated the popular sentiment thus: ‘Even a ten-year old knows this is a fake encounter. But people in UP couldn’t care less as long as the state is minus one more dreaded gangster.’

It was a redux of the Telangana Police encounter, eight months ago, where alleged rapists of a veterinary doctor were killed. Even though prima facie the encounter was seen as staged, the policemen involved were praised and lauded by the public as heroes.

Thus, the malaise runs deeper than what civil society believes – that extrajudicial killings are the mixed handiwork of police highhandedness, a delayed justice system and people’s disregard for legal loopholes. Fake encounters such as these are symptomatic of the erosion of our judicial, policing, and societal systems. This is a scary prospect because it hurtles society towards anarchy where law is disregarded and people’s rights, including that of alleged criminals, are denied and over-ridden by primitive instincts.

ALSO READ: ‘There Is No Time To Think… You Kill Or Get Killed’

The problem in different states, or regions, emanates from different compulsions; at times there could be public pressure, or plain police highhandedness, or the long-winding legal processes that frustrate the police preparedness. In this column, however, we shall limit our argument to the latest “fake encounter” and Uttar Pradesh criminal justice system.

So, what went wrong in the case of Vikas Dubey?

Clearly, Dubey failed to graduate from crime to community. Most of the criminals who were bumped off by Uttar Pradesh police, from Sri Prakash Shukla (the dreaded contract killer and tender mafia in the 1990s) to Vikas Dubey, had this shortcoming. In contrast are the likes of Mukhtar Ansari, DP Yadav and Raja Bhaiyaa (real name Rahugraj Pratap Singh), who in spite of proven criminal records, entered politics and survived, even flourished.

Their transition from crime to community is not a difficult task in Uttar Pradesh, where power and gun culture is so glorified that it is easy for a gangster to project himself as the messiah or pride of one’s community, caste, region or religion. Flashing a bunch of licenced guns at a wedding procession is considered more prestigious here than owning ten times of farm land in acres.

Add to this the poor policing. There has been numerous recruitment scams in Uttar Pradesh Police. Each time a new political regime takes over Lucknow, new investigations are ordered and a large number of police appointments are cancelled, followed by cases and counter-cases in courts. A majority of rank policemen (the constabulary) is unable to even write down an FIR (first information report) in plain language. An FIR forms the basis of a criminal investigation but in UP, there is a Hindi adage that translates loosely to this: ‘Why do you need to file (an FIR) when you can FIRE a rifle?’

Then, there is the power structure of regional, caste or communal dominance in various belts: in eastern UP, for example, a Jat leader gains political prominence only after he (rarely she) is able to terrify Muslims and Jatavs (two separate vote-banks) or vice versa; in the adjoining belt, a Yadav leader’s rise to power is proportional to how many police personnel or officers he has publicly slapped or humiliated; further west, the script is similar – a small-time criminal takes up arms against either the “oppressive police” or the dominant upper caste lord, and then sets oneself into a Bahubali cast who brooks no opposition. Railways, public works contracts, and extortion money fund these goons. After a point, they either join politics or get killed after losing relevance for their political masters.

Sri Prakash Shukla and Vikas Dubey felt political power was beneath them. Raja Bhaiyya, Mukhtar Ansari and DP Yadav joined politics, even jumped ships to stay afloat and are therefore are alive and operational today. It is not that the latter three had any less criminal cases to their ledger.

ALSO READ: Vikas Dubey Tried To Flee, Killed: UP Police

Raja Bhaiyya was booked under terrorist act, charged with the murder of a DSP, Zia Ul Haq, and was rumoured to have even thrown his rivals to a pond full of crocodiles in his native village. Yet, he was rewarded by the Samajwadi Party with a cabinet portfolio of Jail Ministry (there were 46 criminal cases against him at that time).

Mukhtar Ansari, a dreaded don of eastern Uttar Pradesh who was accused of running numerous extortion and contract rackets, secured political protection with a Bahujan Samaj Party ticket and by winning Mau legislative Assembly seat for record five times. Even when he was expelled from the party after being charged with killing BJP legislator Krishnanand Rai, he formed his own party Quami Ekta Dal which was later merged with BSP as “ghar- wapasi”.

The case of DP Yadav is no less illustrative. Starting as a bootlegger to having monopolized liquor mafia in Ghaziabad (in close proximity to the National Capital) and adjoining areas of western Uttar Pradesh, Yadav joined politics after he was named in a hooch tragedy that took 350 lives in early 1990s. He joined Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal, later Janata Dal (Secular), even Bharatiya Janata Party for a brief spell, and finally Bahujan Samaj Party. He has represented both state assembly and Lok Sabha, and has survived any “encounter”.

What do these stories tell us? That crime and politics make a heady cocktail in Uttar Pradesh. Add police to this and you have an unholy, all-superior trinity which can bypass even the court of law. A state’s job is to establish the rule of law, not by unleashing extra-judicial delivery of justice but with better education, a competent constabulary, transparent platform for public grievance, better administrative presence and a responsive system. But in UP, where the state head himself carries a long-running criminal history — many of which he got dismissed after being sworn in as chief minister — this would be asking for too much.

As of now, the Uttar Pradesh police has publicly displayed its unabashed disrespect for the law. And considering Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi’s “free hand” to the police in dealing with criminals, it is likely to set off another round of extra-judicial killings. The aim apparently is to replace ‘Goonda Raj’ with ‘Police Raj’, mirror images of one another. And unless there is a public movement by the civil society, human rights groups, conscientious citizens and the media to force the government for a course correction, this Police Raj will continue to deal one body blow after another to the democratic system as enshrined in Indian Constitution.