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NHRC raises concerns about police 'misusing their power'

Graphic: Reception area of the NHRC office, New Delhi

The Commission has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over an alleged fake encounter in Noida, Gautam Budh Nagar district which left three people injured, one critically.

A group of men, on their way home from a family function, were stopped and shot at by policemen in Noida. After a preliminary inquiry, the Uttar Pradesh police suspended four personnel and arrested a sub-inspector.

The police denied the family's accusations of a fake encounter and instead described the shooting as a case of personal enmity.

In a statement, the NHRC said it seemed that "police personnel in the State of Uttar Pradesh 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".

This is the second time in ten months that the NHRC has sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government over encounters.

Since the Government came to power in March last year, there have been 1,142 encounters, or the equivalent of four encounters a day. More than 200 people have been arrested and over 30 have been killed, the Times of India reported.

The Commission has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh, to look into the scenario and to take appropriate action to sensitise police personnel not to abuse their power.

Detailed reports have been sought from both parties within six weeks.

The Commission noted that it had already expressed concern about media reports on 22 November, 2017 about the Government of Uttar Pradesh, allegedly, endorsing killings encounters by police seeking improvement in law and order situation. The Chief Minister was quoted, in a newspaper on 19 November 2017 saying that "[c]riminals will be jailed or killed in encounters."

Date: 6 February 2018

Source: National Human Rights Commission of India


Image credits

  1. Reception area of the NHRC office, New Delhi - Fasoha Aishath/APF