Fact Finding Report on Police Encounters in Western Uttar Pradesh
The state of U.P. has witnessed an increase in number of police encounters recently and has been accused of carrying out extra-judicial killings/fake encounters. The U.P. police in 2017 claimed to have conducted 420 encounters in which 15 people were killed in 6 months of the Chief Ministers Yogi Adityanath’s government. By 2018 the number reached 1038 encounters in which 32 were killed and 238 injured.
An extrajudicial killing(also known as extrajudicial execution) is the killing of a person by governmental authorities or individuals without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process. Extrajudicial punishments are mostly seen by humanity to be unethical, since they bypass the due process of the legal jurisdiction in which they occur. Extrajudicial killings often target leading political, trade union, dissident, religious, and social figures and are only those carried out by the state government or other state authorities like the armed forces or police, as extra-legal fulfillment of their prescribed role. The members from the office of the high commissioner for United Nations Human Rights (OHCHR) have written to the Indian government regarding information about 15 cases that could be extra judicial killing. They also state that there are 59 possible fake encounter cases. “We are extremely concerned about the pattern of events: individuals allegedly being abducted or arrested before their killing, and their bodies bearing injuries indicative of torture,” said the UN experts.
They called for an urgent review of the use of force by Uttar Pradesh police to ensure all law enforcement operations were conducted in compliance with international standards, for prompt, independent, and thorough investigations into all allegations of potentially unlawful killings and for perpetrators to be prosecuted.The 15 cases raised by the Special Rapporteurs concern: Mr. Gurmeet Singh, Mr. Naushad, Mr. Sarvar, Mr. Ikram, Mr. Mohammad Nadeem, Mr. Jaan Mohammad, Mr. Shamshaad, Mr. Muhammad Mansoor, Mr. Waseem Kala, Mr. Sumit Kumar, Mr. Aslam, Mr. Ramzani, Mr. Shamim, Mr. Akbar, Mr. Noor Muhammad.It is also important to note that a high proportion of those killed belong to the Muslim, Dalits and backward class communities. This however has been time and again denied by the state government.
Therefore to inquire further, on 1st& 2nd March 2019, a team comprising of Advocate Ali Qambar Zaidi(HRLN), Mr. Akram Akhtar Choudhary (Afkar India foundation), and Advocate Sadiq Ahmad(Aman Biradari Trust) conducted a fact-finding in the Kandhla, Kairana and Shamli towns of western U.P. The cases referred for investigation by the United Nation officials include7/8 cases that were visited by the team.