Police officers cordon the site where top criminal Vikas Dubey was killed near Kanpur, India, Friday, July 10, 2020. The top suspect in dozens of crimes, including the killings of eight police officers last week, was fatally shot Friday in police custody while allegedly trying to flee, officials said. Dubey, in his 40s, had given himself up in the central town of Ujjain on Thursday after a weeklong search. A report last month by a New Delhi rights group, the National Campaign Against Torture, said at least 1,731 people died in custody during 2019, which means five custodial deaths a day. (AP Photo)

Why there are so many encounters in Uttar Pradesh?

The Encounter of Vikas Dubey has led to the same old debate that emerges after every Encounter- “Can encounters ever stop crime?”. This is not the first encounter, especially in Uttar Pradesh. As per UP police release of December 2019, the police has been involved in 5,178 violent engagements, leaving 103 people dead. Yet instead of so, the encounter strategy of the UP government has not fulfilled their desired objective.

The question arises, what’s the root of the problem? Actually, it’s all about the Nexus. As per the report of Vohra Committee in 1993, which clearly pointed out about this menace system and they said it “as a parallel Government which pushing the state apparatus to irrelevance”.
After the submission of this report, there was heated discussion in the parliament, but the matter ended there, and there was hardly any follow-up action.
In 2006 Supreme Court had passed seven directives for Police Reform in a writ petition (civil) filed by Prakash Singh ( fr. DGP UP, fr chief of Border Security Force), who has been pitching for police reforms and sought major changes in the police structure.


Under this Centre government had drafted a new Police Model Bill, and accordingly states were required to follow suite by amending their respective state legislature.
SC directed the states to fix the tenure of top two police officers for two years on critical position. States also directed to create The State Security Commission( in which Leader of Opposition had a role, and give policy directions to the police), the clear separation of power and crime function of police and creation of a Police Establishment Board to regulate police placements, which was seen as an important directive. So far, only 17 states have either enacted or amended the police law, the rest of the states have clearly flouted the Supreme Court directives.

The lack of interest of state governments to reform the Police system is that they are allegedly that Police is being used by the ruling party to curb their opposition and to increase their power. So, if they implement this directive then it will stop political interference in the police system by their political bosses. Even, the Opposition parties are not either interested in this as sooner or later they will be in power and use this system according to themselves.
This political interference guards the criminals against law and makes them think that they are above the Law.

Even, there is a Laxman Rekha in this scene, once the criminal which is used by politicians has decided to contest the election and won then he will be the part of governance and will be away from any actions. According to the early 50% of the MPs in the 17th Lok Sabha have criminal records. Out of 534 winners in Lok Sabha 2019, 233 MPs have declared criminal cases against themselves. This is an increase of 44 per cent in the number of MPs with declared Criminal cases since 2009. The figures are more alarming when it comes to serious criminal cases. Around 159 (29 per cent) winners this time have declared serious criminal cases related to Rape, Murder, Attempt to murder, kidnapping crime against women etc. In 2014, out of 542 MPs analysed, 112 (21 per cent) had declared criminal cases and in 2009, out of 543 MPs, 76 (14 per cent) had declared serious criminal cases. There is an increase of 109 per cent in the number of MPs with declared criminal cases since 2009. Often, winning possibility of candidate of leading political parties to give election ticket to popular person, not withstanding their criminal background.
If we talk about State Assembly, According to the Association of Democratic Reforms, in the 17 Vidhan Sabha that was elected in 2017, 143 legislators out of crime won 312 seats in 2017, 114 had declared they faced criminal cases and 83 had booked under heinous crimes. The Samajwadi Party had won only 47 MLAs and 14 MLAs had admitted to having criminal cases in their affidavits, the Bahujan Samaj Party has 19 legislators in which five have a criminal background and the Congress Party with seven legislators have one with a criminal background.
The newly Delhi Legislation Assembly election that were fought on issues like water, hospital, education etc which seen as a revolutionary by Political observers, and appraised Aam Admi Party for this, but this could not stop them in giving tickets to candidates with a criminal background. According to the Association of Democratic Reforms, 43 out of 70 MLAs have declared criminal case against them, after the 2015 Delhi Election, this number was 24 out of 70 MLAs. The number of MLAs who declared serious criminal cases which includes crime against women, murder, assault and corruption, is more than doubled from 14 in 2015 to 37 in 2020.
Aam Admi Party’s 62 MLAs, 38 have declared criminal cases in their election affidavits. BJP’s 8 MLAs, 5 declared criminal cases against themselves.
These criminal Lawmakers are a curse to the governance, Sooner or later they will doom the Democracy, Law and Justice system.

Police reform and decriminalisation of politics both are issues which never become the issue of Electoral politics among voters. This maintains the faults of these systems because the law is always hard on the unprivileged class as compared to privileged ones. As we saw from the custodial deaths of father and son in Thoothkudi district of Tamil Nadu Transfer of Lady cop of Gujarat Ms Sunita Yadav as she stopped State Minister Son’s and his friends when she found them breaking night Curfew law and not wearing masks at her checkpoint.
Until these issues become popular among voters and make political parties stand on and bring reforms in these systems, till then we can’t find the solution.

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Shobhit

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