Amid the raging controversy over the killing of a youth in an alleged encounter by the police in Jhansi district, about 300 kilometres from here, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday said that Uttar Pradesh was witnessing ''lynchings by police''.
The youth, identified as Pushpendra Yadav, a resident of Karguan Khurd village in the district, was gunned down in an alleged armed encounter with the police earlier this week.
''We are now witnessing police lynchings in the state along with mob lynchings,'' Akhilesh said while speaking to reporters in Jhansi, a day after meeting the family of the victim.
He said that BJP had promised 'Ram raj' in the state but it had turned into ''Nathuram (Godse) raj''.
The SP president demanded a probe by a sitting judge of the high court into the incident.
BSP supremo Mayawati also raised questions on the genuineness of the encounter and demanded a thorough probe in the same.
The family members of the victim have alleged that the police killed Pushpendra after he failed to pay them a bribe of rs. 50 thousand to get his seized truck released from their custody.
Pushpendra's brother, who was a constable with the CISF and posted at Delhi, was also allegedly implicated in a false case, the family members said.
A magisterial probe was ordered into the incident, sources said.
Police, however, claimed that Pushpendra was wanted in connection with several cases of loot, snatching and molestation. Senior officials said that they would conduct an impartial probe ted into the incident.
Around 90 ''criminals'' have been killed and over 1200 others injured in the encounters since Yogi Adityanath took charge of the state in March 2017. Many of the encounters were being probed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).