The maximum number of police encounters have taken place in Uttar Pradesh after Chhattisgarh, according to data given to the Lok Sabha by the Home Ministry.
BJP MP Varun Gandhi had sought details on the number of police encounters that had taken place in UP in the last five years. The Home Ministry said some 117 police encounters took place between January 2017 and January 31 this year.
Chhattisgarh, where the security forces are fighting Maoists, has seen the most gunfights with 191 encounters during the same period.
The BJP MP from UP’s Pilibhit also sought to know the number of first information reports, or FIRs, filed into encounter killings, the number of ongoing investigations against police officers on charges of encounter killings, and the number of police officers convicted for encounter killings in the same period, the Home Ministry did not give any details.
“No such record is maintained centrally. Besides, as per the seventh schedule to the Constitution, police and public order are state subjects,” the Home Ministry said.
“The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued guidelines laying down procedure to be followed for investigation of cases of deaths during the course of police action. Pursuant to the guidelines framed by NHRC, every death during the course of police action is to be reported within 48 hours of its occurrence,” Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said in his written reply.
“Prompt prosecution/disciplinary action is to be initiated against all delinquent officers found guilty in magisterial enquiry/police investigation. It is for the concerned authorities to take action against the erring public servant as per extant rules, procedures,” Mr Rai said.
In another reply, the Home Ministry said that as many as 23 cases of custodial deaths have registered by state police between April 2018 and March 2021.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has often warned criminals in the state to correct their ways. Ahead of the state elections, the BJP has pointed out that law and order in UP has improved.