Rate For An Encounter Is Rs 5-6 Lakh In My Area, Says UP Cop In An Undercover Exposé
The Logical Indian Crew Uttar Pradesh
August 8th, 2018 / 5:47 PM
Representational Image: Zee News
Since March 2017, there have been more than 1,500 encounters in Yogi Adityanath’s Uttar Pradesh. A recent news sting by India Today has revealed that allegedly, these fake encounters in the state are done with an aim to get promotions, bribes and for fawning publicity. In the wake of India Today’s sting, Agra SSP Amit Pathak announced an immediate suspension of three police officials caught on tape willing to stage shootouts of innocent civilians.
According to India Today, some 400 people have been injured in around 1,500 police encounters since last March. Most of these encounters have taken place in districts close to Delhi such as Meerut, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Saharanpur, Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad and Noida, as reported by The Hindu.
The undercover investigation
India Today sent their undercover reporter to the state police department. The channel found out that some of these policemen in the task force could be implicating innocent people in extrajudicial killings in exchange for bribe and promotion.
A team of reporter reached Agra, where 241 encounters have taken place after the BJP government came to power in the state. The undercover journalist approached a sub-inspector of the local Chitra Hat police station. The journalist posed as a businessman and during the conversation, the cop offered to kill an innocent civilian for Rs 8 lakh bribe.
The reporter approached the cop for framing a competitor in a fake case. The conversation went on to be like this,
“The problem that you are facing has only one solution. By chance, I have two-three banks under my jurisdiction. If any incident happens, I will involve (implicate) him (fictitious competitor) into it,” said sub-inspector Sarvesh Kumar told the India Today journalists.
The cop further said that “He (victim) can be involved to a great extent into the case. He could be injured and could also lose his life.”
According to the excerpt, the cop did discuss the rate card for implicating people in false cases. “The man (fictitious businessman) won’t be involved in the robbery but will be named subsequently in the list of unknown suspects. That’s the police’s job, said Kumar. “In my area, for instance, the price is Rs 5-6 lakh. In other areas, we’ll have to speak to other people. So, two lakh can be additional. Not more than that,” the officer added.
The officer went on to say that there is no chance of survival of the target. Interestingly, from the neighbouring Agra district, station officer Jagdamba Singh told the reporter that to get desired promotions some police officials conduct fake encounters in the state. “One can do anything for this charge of a station officer. Killing, bribing, anything can be done for this post,” the SO told India Today.
The office says that the extrajudicial killings and misuse of the power by some influential leaders are common in Uttar Pradesh. “There’s no more powerful police force in India than U.P.’s. The hands and feet are tied, and the face is covered. We still kick and bite. We kill. We do whatever we want to. We are the most powerful police force in India,” the SO bragged about the misuse of power in the state. When the reporter asked about police involvement in the fake encounter, the officer said, “Who all take part in an encounter? Constables, inspectors. That’s it. But nothing happens without the consent of the captain (SSPs).”
Another police officer from the same police station, Sub-inspector Balbir Singh also said that an officer can do anything to get a city jurisdiction posting. He, in fact, was ready to stage a fake encounter in exchange for his urban posting, reports India Today. While talking about the secrecy of these fake encounters the officer further told the reporter, “A plan has to be worked out after catching the target. It (encounter) will be kept secret. Nobody would come to know about it. That’s how these things are done,” the officer said.
Action after investigation
As soon as the channel disclosed the news sting on the fake encounters, the Uttar Pradesh police department immediately took action against the scoop.
Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh has suspended the three police officers. Agra SSP Amit Pathak announced an immediate suspension of the three police officials caught on tape willing to stage shootouts of innocent civilians, reports India Today.
“I believe anyone in the police force goes against work ethics for his vested interests and tries to implicate innocents in false cases should be dealt with sternly,” Pathak said.
Human Right violation
According to The Hindu, earlier this year the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh government on several encounter occasions. However, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) is probing four cases of alleged encounters, including three in Azamgarh.
In a statement issued by NHRC in February, it said, “It seems that the police personnel in U.P. are feeling free, misusing their power in the light of an undeclared endorsement given by the higher-ups. They are using their privileges to settle scores with the people.”
Meanwhile, the opposition in the state criticizes the government for the “fake encounters”. The opposition has also questioned the government saying, why most of the dead were Dalits, Muslims or members of Backward Classes.
Written by : Ridhima Gupta
Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi