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Yogi’s remark on encounters will encourage police to take short cuts

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Barely a week after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s controversial remarks that criminals in the state would “either be sent to jail or killed in police encounters”, the National Human Rights Commission served a notice to his government, seeking a detailed report on allegations of 19 encounter killings that have occurred over the past 6 months in the state.

Though encounter killings have long been known to occur throughout the country, the most recent remarks by Adityanath appear to suggest an official endorsement.

ThePrint asks: Does CM Adityanath’s statement on encounter killings reveal the UP government’s official position?

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s statement in Ghaziabad on 18 November, 2017 that criminals in his state will either be sent to jails or be killed indicates his scant respect to the principle of the rule of law. Due process will have to be followed before holding anybody guilty prior to sentencing him or her.

It is also indicative of his extreme Hindutva mindset, which is similar to Rocco Code of Italy, which prescribed capital punishment from 1926 for even common crimes. To know more about how Mussolini had shaped this type of thinking please read “Hindutva’s foreign tie-up in the 1930- Archival Evidence” by Marzia Casolari.

Here are other sharp perspectives on Adityanath’s remark:

Colin Gonsalves, founder, of Human Rights Law Network
Ujjwal Nikam, public prosecutor

Uttar Pradesh is notorious for police atrocities. The danger emanating from this statement is that the rank and file in that state police could be encouraged to begin what is called “encounter-killing” as a short-cut to detailed investigation, prosecution and trial.

Nowadays allegations are galore of police torture and forced confessions as seen recently in Ryan International case where the CBI found that the confession of a bus conductor was totally fabricated.

A responsible person like the chief minister of the largest state in India should not have made such theatrical remarks to impress his audience.

Vappala Balachandran is the former special secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, and author of “Keeping India Safe: The Dilemma of Internal Security”

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