UP: killer cops, blessed by CM, govt

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath interacts with the children of the private company executive Vivek Tiwari. (PTI File Photo)

The killing in cold blood of a young Apple executive, Vivek Tiwari, by a policeman in Lucknow last week exposed again the lawlessness that pervades Uttar Pradesh under the Yogi Adityanath government. Tiwari was shot dead without provocation merely for not stopping his car for a traffic check. The rule of law is so bad in Lucknow and in other parts of the state that stopping a car at night is a hazard. In any case, the policeman had no authority to fire and, as it turns out, was not authorised to even carry a gun. The immediate response of the police was to defend the constable, cover up and subvert the case. But the police have now had to admit that the man killed without a reason and that there are “rogues in uniform’’ in the state. Chief Minister Adityanath has said that the murder was no “encounter,’’ as if it would be alright if it were one. The cop has been arrested and dismissed from service.  

Tiwari’s killing is not a stray incident. He is one of the many people eliminated by the UP police without as much as an arrest or any support of the due process of law. The chief minister himself proposed and endorsed encounter killings, clearly saying that criminals and suspects deserved to be put away. There have been over 2,000 encounters, and at least 60 people have been killed after he came to power in March last year. Policemen indulge in wanton killings, attack and torture people in the name of preventing crime and raise false cases against them. They have even invited the media to watch encounters. And they are not accountable for any of it since they have the government’s blessings.  

The trigger-happy cops are part of the general lawless culture in the state, which is seen in lynchings, attacks on people in inter-faith relationships and in the actions of anti-Romeo squads. People who complain against ruling party leaders are also not spared, like the man who was killed for complaining that his daughter was raped by the BJP MLA of Unnao. The killing of Tiwari would have gone unnoticed if he were from a lower caste and class and if his clansmen, who are important for the BJP, did not make an issue of it. What emerges is that the UP police is not bound by the rule of law and enjoys absolute impunity and political support even after they commit the worst crimes. This amounts to a breakdown of the constitutional machinery. If it did not rule the state, this would have been enough for the BJP to call for the dismissal of the government.

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UP: killer cops, blessed by CM, govt

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