Supreme Court Orders For 'Detailed Hearing' On Recent Encounter Killings In UP; 59 Encounters In 22 Months
The Uttar Pradesh government on January 14, 2019, received a notice from the Supreme Court based on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by People’s Union for Civil Liberties and Citizens Against Hate demanding a court-monitored investigation by Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) or Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the recent encounter killings in the state.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi after hearing a plea of the litigant said that the concerned matter is a serious one and needs to have a detailed hearing. The CJI said, “It is a very serious matter which required a detailed hearing,” reported the Business Standard. The apex court understanding the importance of the matter scheduled its hearing on the issue for February 12, 2019.
What Both The Parties Said
Advocate Prashant Bhushan informed the court that the National Human Rights Commission was scrutinising into 17 encounter cases and pleaded the court to ask the panel for a status report. Whereas, the senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who is appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, refuted all the allegations. He further added that the government was carrying its investigation in compliance with the guidelines issued by the NHRC and Supreme Court.
Uttar Pradesh Police released information last year stating that 1142 police encounters were done between March 20, 2017, and January 31, 2018. Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, recently alleged that police encounters in the state are executed under Yogi Aditynath. He further added that these encounters are fake as well as NHRC and the court have pointed on these encounters.
59 Extrajudicial Killings
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on January 11, 2019, said that concerns were raised regarding the extrajudicial killings in the state since the Bharatiya Janata Party has come to power. Four human rights experts in their letter to the Indian government underscored that at least 59 encounters have happened under UP Police watch since 2017. These experts have given the Indian government detailed information about 15 such cases. Of these cases, the majority of the victims were poor Muslims.
Previously, the Uttar Pradesh government had received a notice by the Supreme Court on a petition alleging that many fake counters have happened in the recent past. The NHRC also in November last year issued the state government a notice after taking cognisance of reports of an alleged fake encounter in Muzaffarnagar. A 20-year-old Irshad Ahmad was shot dead by the police. While various human rights activists referring to this incident were infuriated, the police said that the boy had fired at them.