Will send criminals to jail or kill in encounters: Adityanath
In controversial comments, UP CM Yogi Adityanath said his government will leave only two options for criminals- jails or "hell" through police encounters.
Speaking at Ghaziabad's Ramleela Ground ahead of civic polls, he said, "We'll make life very difficult for criminals."
Ironically, it came on the same day when hundreds of Bajrang Dal members vandalized a police station in nearby Meerut and assaulted personnel.
Encounters: The Adityanath regime's way of handling crime
Adityanath claimed drastic improvement in law and order
Improving law and order was one of BJP's primary promises before it came to power in April.
After six months in office, Adityanath said the situation has improved: "After March'17, there hasn't been a single incident of riot."
"We gave free hand to the police," he said. Resultantly, 17 criminals were killed, 1,106 arrested and 668 "carrying rewards" were put behind bars, he claimed.
But what is the actual situation on ground?
For all his claims, UP's crime record is abysmal: soon after Adityanath took office, an Allahabad couple was murdered and their daughters raped and killed; four Chitrakoot residents murdered; two Lucknow sisters murdered in their home; and a trader shot dead in Gorakhpur, Adityanath's constituency.
According to one report, crimes against women spiked by 17%.
The Gorakhpur tragedy also left a deep dent.
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'Criminal elements should be stopped from entering politics'
In his recent comments, Adityanath mentioned BJP leader Gajendra Bhati who was shot dead on September 2 allegedly by former MLA Amarpal Sharma.
Bhati's wife was then given a ticket to fight against Sharma's wife.
"It's necessary that criminal elements are stopped from entering politics. We will ensure that they are dealt with in a hard manner," Yogi said.
Encounters UP's new method to tackle crime?
Interestingly, UP police carried out over 430 encounters during April-September, roughly two encounters a day. Seventeen criminals and two cops were killed and 88 injured, according to the government. Though similar data from previous years is unavailable in public, police say the figures are unprecedented.