Budget session: Minister says no fake encounters in UP, Oppn protests, says figures ‘wrong’

Maulshree Seth
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Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna said that in the given period, only one case of murder by policemen was registered in Lucknow

The government on Tuesday told the Assembly that there has been no fake encounter in the state, triggering protest from the Opposition parties, which accused the government of giving wrong information.

Replying to a question asked by BSP MLA Shyam Sunder Sharma about the number of fake encounters and murders by police between July 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna said that in the given period, only one case of murder by policemen was registered in Lucknow and two policemen were arrested and terminated from the services.

When the BSP member insisted that the figure was “wrong”, the minister said, “There is only one incident and there are no fake encounters in the state.”

Pointing to the Opposition, the minister said, “Jisko ye encounter kehte hain, hum usko farzi mante nahi... jisko yeh farzi mutbher kehte hain, hum usko mante nahi (Which they call encounter, we do not consider them as fake.... which they call fake encounter, we don’t consider them).”

To this Leader of Opposition, Ram Govind Chowdhury of the Samajwadi Party alleged that police atrocities and fake encounters are on the rise in the state and demanded compensation for those killed in such encounters. He also said that police have been given free hand by the government and a large number of fake encounters have taken place in the state. But minister Khanna insisted that all those killed in encounters had criminal records and were a “threat to the society”. He said that even five policemen were killed during these encounters — two in Agra and one each in Shamli, Amroha and Chitrakoot districts.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the minister’s response, SP members staged a walkout. Later in the day, the Opposition and ruling party members sparred once again over crime in the state. After minister Khanna told the House that crimes are reducing in the state, Opposition leaders objected to the crime date quoted by him, accusing him of giving wrong figures. Both BSP Legislature Party Leader and Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary quoted crime figures by Central agencies, including National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) and said that crimes have increased in the state and therefore the government should give the correct figures.

“Crime has not decreased as claimed. It has increased as per the data provided by the Central Government. They are presenting their own made figures. Is the Central government wrong,” asked Chaudhary. However, Khanna maintained that figures presented by the state Government were correct.

SP MLAs walk out over unemployment

The SP MLAs staged a walkout from the Assembly on Tuesday, accusing the BJP government of failing to fulfil its promise of providing jobs to the unemployed. Raising the matter through an adjournment notice in the Zero Hour, SP members claimed that the BJP had promised in its manifesto to provide jobs but youth were still unemployed.

In his reply, Minister for Labour and Employment Swami Prasad Maurya rejected the allegations and said 2.90 lakh people got jobs through ‘Rozgar Melas’ in the three years of the Yogi Adityanath government, against 1.81 lakh jobs in the five years of the SP government.

Maurya presented figures to stress on his point and said the current government has ended corruption in appointments. “There is complete transparency in appointments during the present government. There is no charge of corruption. The Opposition’s charges on this count are unfounded,” Maurya said. The SP members expressed dissatisfaction over the reply and staged a walkout.

—with PTI