UP's law and order situation, key 2019 LS election issue
(Sourced from PTI)
With the Lok Sabha polls just months away, the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh is set to be a key election issue for both the ruling BJP and the opposition in the state. Chief Minister Adityanath recently said that the eagerness being shown by big firms to invest in the state indicated that the law and order situation has improved. Here's more.
Opposition parties claim crime in UP has only worsened since the BJP took over. Cases like alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar make the ruling party vulnerable to opposition charge. Opposition-leaders also cite the Baghpat jail shooting in which gangster Munna Bajrangi was killed by another inmate. They say this indicates that people aren't safe even in prison.
"Though the governor has been saying time and again that the law and order situation needs to be improved, the state government is not heeding his directive," Samajwadi Party Chief and former CM Akhilesh Yadav said. The apparent reference was to an observation by Governor Ram Naik, who praised Adityanath for improvement in the situation but also said there was scope to do more.
UP Congress Chief Raj Babbar has also attacked the police, saying they harass the poor and act as "bouncers" for the state government. Vandana Misra, General Secretary of People's Union for Civil Liberties (UP unit), claimed that the crime situation has worsened and atrocities against the Dalits and the Muslims are increasing. Even crime against women has increased, she claimed.
DGP OP Singh claimed there's been a drastic fall in cases of the crime under categories like murder, rape, and dacoity in past six months. Cases of dacoity have come down by 37%, looting 19%, murder 1%, burglary 13% and rioting 7%, kidnapping for ransom 9%, and rape 7% between January 1 and July 15 over the corresponding period in previous year, police said.
The state police have arrested 5,677 criminals, DGP Singh said. 62 criminals have been killed in police encounters between March 2017 and July 15, 2018. Encounters damage the rule of law and the criminal justice system. This also leads to the politicization of criminals as fearing police action, they join the ruling party," said Lenin Raghuvanshi, founder of People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights.
Many of those killed or injured in such encounters might not be criminals at all, Raghuvanshi said. Recently, the Supreme Court also sought a response from the state government on a plea seeking a court-monitored CBI/SIT probe into the recent deaths in police encounters.
Lawyer Sanjay Parikh, appearing for PUCL in the apex court, alleged that about 1,100 encounters have taken place in the past year, killing 49 people and injuring 370 others. It also quoted an observation by the NHRC, which said that it seemed that "the police personnel in UP are feeling free, misusing their power in the light of an undeclared endorsement given by higher-ups".