Ranjeet Bachchan shot dead: Recent killings of right-wing leaders raise serious questions on law and order in UP

Bachchan's murder is the latest instance in a series of killings of right-wing leaders in Uttar Pradesh.

FP Staff February 03, 2020 21:28:08 IST
Ranjeet Bachchan shot dead: Recent killings of right-wing leaders raise serious questions on law and order in UP
  • Ranjeet Bachchan, a leader of a right wing Hindu outfit was shot dead on Sunday while he was out on a morning walk.

  • Bachchan's murder is the latest instance in a series of killings of right-wing leaders in Uttar Pradesh.

  • The incident comes nearly four months after the leader of a little known Hindu Samaj Party was killed in the city.

A leader of a right-wing Hindu outfit was shot dead on Sunday while he was out on a morning walk, barely a couple of kilometres away from the high-security Uttar Pradesh legislature complex in the heart of state capital.

Saffron-clad Ranjeet Bachchan, 40, who founded Vishwa Hindu Mahasabha, was shot in the head and his cousin Aditya Srivastava injured in the attack by an unidentified assailant who also snatched their mobile phones, according to Joint Commissioner of Police Naveen Arora.

According to Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha president Swami Chakrapani, Bachchan was also the working president of the outfit's Uttar Pradesh unit.

Ranjeet Bachchan shot dead Recent killings of rightwing leaders raise serious questions on law and order in UP

File image of Vishwa Hindu Mahasabha founder Ranjeet Bachchan. News18 Hindi

Bachchan's murder is the latest instance in a series of killings of right-wing leaders in Uttar Pradesh. The incident comes nearly four months after the leader of a little known Hindu Samaj Party was killed in the city.

On 18 October, 2019, Kamlesh Tiwari (45), who was earlier associated with a faction of the Hindu Mahasabha, was found murdered at his home in the congested Naka Hindola area of Lucknow. On 28 November, 2019, the body of a Hindu Yuva Vahini leader Sandeep Nagar was found hanging from a tree in Gautam Buddha Nagar district.

According to a NewsLaundry report, the police have claimed that Bachchan's killing was not connected to his political leanings, but was likely to have been a result of a family dispute or personal enmity.

However, some of his family claimed he was killed for his political activities, and that he had received several threats.

Nevertheless, the deaths of Bachchan, Tiwari and Nagar show the state of law and order in Uttar Pradesh in a poor light. This is particularly stark as one of the key points touted as "achievements" for the Yogi Adityanath government is his tough stand on law and order.

In terms of law and order, Adityanath's government has perhaps been best known for its "encounter" policy of dealing with criminals. Last year, in a span of two to three months, the Uttar Pradesh police gunned down 67 people accused of crime — each was termed as a "dreaded" criminal carrying a reward.

However, a Deccan Herald report quoted police insiders as saying that nearly three-fourths of those killed in such "encounters" did not actually qualify to be called hardened criminals. The report quoted a senior IPS officer as saying that in some cases, petty offenders were picked up and later gunned down so that the police and government could claim a "big catch."

Similarly, a report in The Indian Express also found startling similar descriptions of the sequence of events by the police, and identical phrases being used by the police in many cases of "encounters". These raise serious questions about whether the encounters were genuine or not. What is clear is that such an approach does little to improve the security situation in Uttar Pradesh, notwithstanding the state government's assertions.

With inputs from PTI

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