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Ex IG Darapuri Flays Yogi Govt on Fake Encounter Raj in Uttar Pradesh

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S R Darapuri,former Inspector General of Policce (IG) of Uttar Pradesh . — File photo


The BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, has been in the news for more than 1300 fake police encounters, many of them involving Muslims, and worsening law and order situation. In an interview with Caravan Daily, S R Darapuri, former Inspector General of Police and leading rights activist, talks about the battle for justice and human rights in the state ruled by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

Ghazanfar Abbas| Caravan Daily

LUCKNOW — S R Darapuri, former Inspector General of Policce (IG) of Uttar Pradesh, is known as a socially-conscious and sensitive social activist

What’s your take on the spate of fake encounters (reportedly over 1300 as per a fact finding report) in UP?

The encounters in UP are being carried out as a state policy, seldom do real encounters take place. Large number of encounters indicate that these are not real. Also, those being bumped off during these encounters are not, hardened criminals, nor do they have any criminal history. Another disturbing fact is that those being killed are Muslims, Dalits and OBCs. These encounters are nothing but extra judicial killings.

I have served in police for 32 years and in these many years I have witnessed only one real encounter. This often makes me wonder as to how the present police force is being able to manage so many encounters to control crime? Sometime it is counterproductive also, as the killing of these innocents often make the real criminals move away or go undercover. However, such encounter is sheer injustice. The role of the police is not to kill anybody, it is to collect evidence, put it before the court and get the criminal punished as per the law. So, killing in the name of encounters is against the established law and prescribed police procedure.

What are the NHRC and Supreme Court guidelines for any encounter?

In case an encounter takes place then the police needs to immediately inform NHRC. As per Supreme Court guidelines a case needs to be registered against the police and the case needs to be investigated by any independent agency like CB-CID. However, these days, same police is assigned to investigate the case. And that is a big violation.

Your opinion about UP government’s approach to control crime through encounters and presenting it as an achievement?

This approach is against the law, so it definitely is not an achievement. Police is being forced to kill people. Tomorrow some cases may be transferred to CBI or any other agency then what will happen to the policemen who are being ordered to kill innocent persons? The proper way to control the crime is to activate the police and let them work on prevention of crime. But here we see a large number of policemen are put on non policing duties.

Your take on Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Act (UPCOCA), 2017 that was recently introduced by state government to control terrorism? As per NCRB (National Crime Record Bureau) data, crime against Dalits is on the rise in last 4 years under the BJP ruled states and the Centre. What’s your take on the same?

UP has registered a large number of crimes committed against Dalits, indicates the NCRB report. BJP ruled states outdo all other states except Bihar. Crime against women and Dalits is ever increasing. The population of SC/ST is 21% in UP but the crime share against Dalits is 26% and that shows a lot.

As crime against Dalits is rising as per government data, then how do you look at the recent Supreme Court verdict on SC/ST Act 1989?

This judgment is totally uncalled for. The real issue was to quash an FIR by the person who had approached to the apex court claiming that the Act had been wrongly imposed on him but court went out of way and issued guidelines that are actually diluting the SC/ST Act. I see it as a conspiracy between the central BJP government and the particular bench of justices in the Apex Court who issued the new guidelines. Among them one of the judges has been the lawyer of BJP president Amit Shah for the fake encounter case against him. So, one can draw the influence that there might be some connection between the BJP and that particular Judge.

Comment on the politics being played in the name of Dr Ambedkar’s name and conferring Yogi Adityanath with the ‘Dalit Mitra’ award by Babasaheb Ambedkar Mahasabha on Ambedkar Jayanti.

Actually conferring Yogi with ‘Dalit Mitra’ award is an attempt of Dr Lalji Prasad Nirmal, chairman of Mahasabha to get favour from the government. I was also the founding member of Mahasabha. There are many like me who had opposed the move. Dalits are being persecuted by the BJP government. After Bharat Bandh on April 2, thousands of Dalits had been arrested and cases were registered against them. So, how Dalits can accept Yogi as their friend? And when I along with others went there to oppose, we were detained by the police. Dr Nirmal awarded Yogi and got reward in return. It is the biggest disrespect to Dr Ambedkar and the entire Dalit community that the person responsible for atrocities on Dalits, is being conferred with title as friend of Dalits. Mayawati’s message to everyone who could benefit from it goes beyond her agreeable appeal. Her message can be, in fact, a winning political strategy. Let’s call the message strategic selflessness. Given her Buddhist faith, Mayawati may even see in it the only viable route to salvation. Buddha said over 2,500 years ago that the way forward was selflessness. It was a direct critique of greed and plunder and savagery in its worst form. In its political avatar, therefore, the trouble for ordinary men, women and children comes from the far right, be it in Pakistan or in India, in Europe or the United States. A liberal polity allows for all ideas, including narrow ideas, to circulate freely in the belief that such ideas would wane before the magic of egalitarian democracy. The threat Mayawati faces is an Indian variant of European fascism, which never allows a liberal thought to escape its hateful vigil.

So, what is the strategic selflessness that Mayawati has displayed, which can be of interest to liberals and democrats in India and Pakistan? She first identified the mortal threat to her people and their politics. She determined it came from the advent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s divide-and-rule politics of hate. She calculated that if she didn’t act, her own people would discard their Dalit identity to shore up Hindutva, now gaining ground with the middle classes. Using a crucial by-election to test the ground, Mayawati committed her Bahujan Samaj Party’s 20pc solidly transferable votes to the campaign of her erstwhile arch foe the Samajwadi Party’s kitty of 23pc votes. The result of the BSP-SP alliance triggered a tame defeat for Modi’s party in Phulpur and Gorakhpur parliamentary seats in Uttar Pradesh. His chief minister and deputy chief minister had vacated both the seats so the result was egg on their face and Modi’s.

Let’s transport that idea to Pakistan and then to the rest of India.

There is a fear stalking Pakistan that a combination of right-wing religious parties with the tacit help of a conniving state apparatus would quell all hopes of Jinnah’s inclusive and open society. When Mahatma Gandhi was using religion to lead Indian Muslims in their campaign for mediaeval revival of the khilafat, Jinnah was admiring the modernist influence of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Now a combination of religious and revanchist parties of Pakistan are plotting to waylay and bury the modernist dream forever. But there is Mayawati’s wisdom to guide Pakistan out of its despair. She joined hands with

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