Former Uttar Pradesh prisoners walk with placards pledging to reform and not 'indulge in crime again'

A video released on Saturday showed two alleged criminals walking around Kairana city with placards pledging to "reform" and not "indulge in crime again." One of them was quoted by The Times of India as saying they 'do not want to be hunted down like other criminals.'

This comes days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said in the state Legislative Council that police encounters in the state "would not stop."

A total of 40 'dreaded criminals' have been gunned down in 1,200 encounters, and this will continue, the chief minister had said in the state Legislative Council. He was replying to BJP legislator Devendra Pratap Singh's question on the propriety pertaining to a 13 February directive of Chairman Ramesh Yadav asking the government to get a CBI probe conducted into three cases, including of two police encounters.

"I will not get involved in any crimes in the future and will work hard to take care of my family. Please forgive us," a placard held up by one of the two men says. Following this incident, the Twitter handle of the UP police also shared a collage of news articles with the caption: "It is not the police I am afraid of, it is crime that I fear." The quote is a spin on a dialogue from the Salman Khan starrer Dabangg.

On Saturday, the Twitter handle of the Shamli police also retweeted a news article on the issue. The tweet says that the incident is due to the effect of 'encounter specialist' superintendent of police Ajay Sharma and further says, "See what criminals of Uttar Pradesh are saying due to the fear of encounters."

According to the Financial Express, the two men are Salim Ali and Irshad Ahmad, who are accused in several cases of loot and murder. The report adds that the two accused were jailed and are said to be "repeat offenders." They also handed over an affidavit to the Shamli SP.

The Opposition has recently slammed the ruling party for the spike in encounters. According to the Times of Indiathe Samajwadi Party criticised Adityanath for allegedly “ordering” fake encounters.

The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government, which came to power in 2017, has faced severe criticism over the rising number of police encounters in the state. According to the New Indian Express, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sent a notice to the state government, asking it to come clear within six weeks on the recent police encounters in the state. “The NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the government of Uttar Pradesh, allegedly, endorsing killings in encounters by police seeking improvement in law and order situation in the state,” the human rights body said.

“The reported statement of the chief minister tantamounts to giving police department a free hand to deal with the criminals at their will and, possibly, it may result in abuse of power by the public servants,” NHRC added.

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Updated Date: Feb 17, 2018 21:40:49 IST

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