The Shiv Sena on Monday said the Kanpur encounter in which eight policemen were killed has exposed the encounter specialist Uttar Pradesh government and raised questions over claims of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about ending goondaism in the state.
Noting Uttar Pradesh is often called as 'Uttam Pradesh', an editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said the 'Uttam Pradesh' now stands soaked in the blood of policemen, which is a shock for the country.
Eight police personnel, including a deputy superintendent of police, were gunned down last week at a village near Kanpur by the henchmen of gangster Vikas Dubey.
An accomplice of prime accused Dubey has been arrested, while the gangster is still at large.
The Shiv Sena said there are reports of Dubey fleeing to Nepal after the incident.
India is not enjoying good relations with Nepal at present, the Marathi publication said, hoping Dubey does not turn out to be Dawood in Nepal for India.
It was apparently referring to reports of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim residing in Pakistan after fleeing India.
"The Kanpur police killings have exposed the encounter specialist government in Uttar Pradesh," the Shiv Sena said.
"The Kanpur episode revives the memories of killings of policemen by a gang in Uttar Pradesh's Nathuapur four decades ago, it said, wondering what has changed in Adityanath's regime if security personnel are getting killed even after 40 years (of that incident)."
"Uttar Pradesh has faced ignominy for decades due to the gangs of goons there and their crimes. Claims have been made several times that goondaism has ended during the regime of present Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. But the Kanpur police killings have raised a big question mark on these claims," the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.
During the three-year tenure of the Adityanath government in the state, more than 113 goons have been encountered, it said, asking how come Dubey's name was left out of it.
The Sena said there are more than 60 offences against the gangster, including that of murder and robbery, and wondered how come he got saved for want of evidence.
What explanation the Yogi government has if someone alleges that the list of goons to be encountered is prepared as per the convenience of the Uttar Pradesh police and government? the Marathi daily asked. After the Kanpur encounter, the Uttar Pradesh administration razed Dubey's residence, contending it was illegal.
Referring to it, the Sena asked, But what about the homes of the martyred policemen? Will the parents (of slain cops) get their sons back and children their fathers back?
It was unfortunate that the Uttar Pradesh administration got the "secret knowledge" of Dubey's residence being illegal only after the killings of the eight policemen, it said.
The Shiv Sena, without specifying details, said goondaism in Uttar Pradesh has its effects on the national capital Delhi and the financial capital Mumbai and hence, the Kanpur killings is a serious matter.