Three years on, poor law and order still haunts Akhilesh

Three years on, poor law and order still haunts Akhilesh

When Akhilesh Yadav assumed the reigns of Uttar Pradesh after a landslide victory in the 2012 Assembly polls, he had sought a few months to deliver on the law and order front. During his three years stint, however, the law and order situation seems to have only deteriorated further prompting his political rivals to question his ability to run the state.

Akhilesh has himself admitted that worsening law and order situation in the state has ‘tarnished’ the ‘image’ of his government. “The achievements made by the government in other fields are obliterated by the incidents of crimes,” Akhilesh said recently at a function, virtually admitting to the shooting crime graph. Incidents of rape, shoot-outs on the streets in front of the cops and even in the court premises, armed robberies and communal clashes in different parts of the state have dominated the headlines during the Samajwadi Party’s three-year stint.

Even the cops have been found to be blatantly violating the law despite a series of suspensions, and even dismissals. In some cases, the police were found to be running extortion rackets and looting traders.  Senior officials have also admitted that a series of daring killings – inside the jails as well as in the courts even in the presence of the cops in several western  Uttar Pradesh districts – have triggered fear of an impending gang war in the crime-infested region.

As many as four major clashes among the rival gangs have taken place so far this year in the districts of Western UP. Such is the fear of attacks on the criminals who are facing trial that they are taken for court hearings in bullet proof vests. Recently, at least six undertrials were produced at a Muzaffarnagar court in bullet proof jackets.


Incidentally, it has been alleged that the police had connived with the attackers in some cases. At least in two such cases, the families of the killed accused persons had named the police officials as conspirators.  The cops have also come under attack from the criminals in many places in the state. Last month, police were attacked in Baghpat district by the members of Amita Bhura gang while the latter was being taken for a court hearing. The criminals managed to snatch Bhura from police custody.

A few days later, members of the Bhura gang again attacked a police van, which was carrying an undertrial criminal. 


The cops accompanying him fled from the scene. Police officials have also admitted that dreaded criminals have been running their networks from inside the jails in the state. 

According to the sources in the state prison department, there have been several incidents when threats were issued by criminals lodged in the prison, to contractors, engineers and doctors in a few districts in the eastern region of the state, using cell phones, much to the shock of the officials.

Sources said the criminals were found to be using different SIM cards for the purpose of making calls for extortion. “Some such calls were made from inside jails in some eastern UP districts,” said a jail official here. “When the numbers from which the calls were made were put on surveillance, it turned out that they were being operated from inside the jail barracks,” said a police official.Connivance of jail staff

The officials do not rule out the connivance of the jail staff in this and referred to the recent shootout inside the Mathura district jail in which one criminal was killed. 

“Investigations revealed that a jail guard had given a cell phone to one of the criminals involved in the gang war in the jail.” the official said. Even the state capital had registered a sharp spurt in incidents of armed robberies. 

The law and order situation has created a rift between the state government and the ‘proactive’ Governor Ram Naik. On several occasions, Naik had taken the state government to task though his remarks drew sharp criticism from the ruling Samajwadi Party leaders. Senior minister Azam Khan and Naik exchanged verbal duel over the law and order situation in the state putting Akhilesh in a quandary. Observers feel that the chief minister would have to first act against his own party workers and leaders if he wants to improve the law and order in the state as in many cases, the ruling party leaders and even ministers were found to be violating the law.

There have been several instances when ruling party MLAs and leaders thrashed the cops, assaulted witnesses, demanded extortion and terrorised government officials to have their way. Repeated warnings by Akhilesh and the SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav have failed to have any effect on them. “Akhilesh’s intentions are good but he has failed to deliver on the law and order front…he has not been able to change the perception in the people that crimes soar whenever the SP comes to power,” said a senior ruling party leader.

The opposition parties have been pouncing on Akhilesh for his alleged failure on the law and order front. With the next Assembly polls barely two years away, Akhilesh may find it extremely difficult to showcase his government’s achievements to the people unless he is able to stem the shooting crime graph and instil a sense of security among the people.

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