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Barabanki Police's Encounter Again in Question; 'Criminal' Claims He Was Taken Into Custody A Day Earlier

This is the second such incident in Barabanki. In February, the apprehended ‘notorious’ criminal claimed that he was taken into custody two days before the ‘encounter’.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:April 19, 2018, 1:16 PM IST
Barabanki Police's Encounter Again in Question; 'Criminal' Claims He Was Taken Into Custody A Day Earlier
Congress MP PL Punia visited the man shot at in an 'encounter' by UP police (News18)

Lucknow: Hours after an ‘encounter’ by Uttar Pradesh police, the suspected criminal claimed that he was taken into custody from Lucknow’s Mahanagar area and later left in Barabanki district before being shot at.

This is the second such incident in Barabanki. In February, an apprehended ‘criminal’ claimed that he was taken into custody two days before the ‘encounter’.

“Barabanki police took me along with them on Wednesday evening and said that they want to interrogate me, following which I would be allowed to go. However, they covered my face and took me to Dariyabad town around 3 am before shooting me in the leg,” accused Akash Yadav told News18.

“I kept asking them for the reason which made them shoot at me, but they did not reply me. Around 5 am, I was taken to a hospital for first-aid and treatment. Right now, no serious cases are on me, barring a few cases related to my scuffle at the University,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Barabanki police has a different story to narrate.

Refuting the claims made by Yadav, Barabanki ASP Shashikant Tiwari told News18, “An encounter took place early Thursday morning in which three bike-borne criminals were shot at. Initially, they were asked to stop but when they failed to follow the order and opened fire at the police officers, our team had to shoot in retaliation. One of the criminals was shot in leg, while the other two managed to escape. Also, illegal arms and ammunition were recovered from them.”

On being asked if it was a ‘fake’ or ‘staged’ encounter, Tiwari said, “The encounter is not fake at all. If the family of the accused is staging a protest, then there might be some other reason behind it.”

After the incident came to light, scores of leaders visited Yadav at the trauma centre, including senior Congress MP PL Punia.

Samajwadi Party spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan said, “CM Yogi had warned criminals of initiating strict action against them, but instead crime has risen in the state. This is just government propaganda to hide their failure to control crime. Law and order situation has gone out of hand and now police is engaging in fake encounters just to boast the figures.”

The encounters by Uttar Pradesh police continue to irk intelligentsia even as the data by the state police claims that 1142 police encounters took place in UP between March 20, 2017 and January 31, 2018.

Anshu Pushpakar, who was shot at in February in Barabanki said, “I was arrested, along with another person, by the crime branch officers two days before the encounter. When I arrived at the police station, there were three others already in custody. A night before the encounter, we were given food at 10 pm. At 1.30 am, we were taken to a bridge. There, another person and I were shot.”

In October last year, the case of Sumit Gurjar had created an uproar in the state. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had also sent a notice to the government over the ‘encounter’.

The family members of gangster Sumit Gurjar (25), who was shot dead by police in Sector Chi 4, Greater Noida, had held protests and claimed that the encounter was staged. Gurjar's relatives were accompanied by at least 100 villagers from his home district, Baghpat, to Noida.

If the mounting number of encounters is not checked, it could lead to a repeat of the 1991 Pilibhit fake encounter case.

In 2016, a special CBI court found 47 police officers guilty of killing 12 people who were travelling back from a pilgrimage. The police, reacting to a speculative story about militants travelling on the route, stopped their bus and took the group to different spots. All 12 were later found dead.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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