Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath mulls expansion of state cabinet berths

NEW DELHI: A group of citizens, including former judges, IAS and IPS officers, on Monday slammed those accusing the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh of “crushing” dissent by suppressing democratic protests, and said their statement was “irresponsible and wholly misconceived”.

It is a matter of concern that a group of retired civil servants aligned to a “particular political stream despite overtly posing as non-political”, repeatedly avail of every opportunity to put the Indian democracy, its institutions, and persons legitimately holding high offices in poor light by making ill-considered public statements or writing misconceived communications to various authorities, the group alleged.

The 151 signatories to the statement include former UP chief secretary Yogendra Narain, former Sikkim High Court chief justice Permod Kohli and former CBI director Nageshwar Rao besides a number of retired IFS and military officials.

Their statement is an apparent rebuttal to another group of former civil servants, IPS officials and others who have often criticised the Adityanath government for allegedly suppressing dissent and using state instruments to target its critics.

Citing figures, the group of citizens backing the UP government said between March 20, 2017 to July 11, 2021, a total of 8,367 police encounters took place in the state in which 18,025 alleged criminals suffered injuries.

Of them 3,246 were arrested and 140 lost their lives, they said.

As many as 115 of the alleged criminals who were killed in the encounters carried rewards on their head with 21 of them carrying reward of over Rs 50,000 each and nine of them carrying rewards of Rs.1.5 lakh.

Countering the charge that a disproportionately large number of them were from a minority community, they said 51 out of 140 belonged to the group.

They noted that 13 policemen were also killed in these encounters, and another 1,140 policemen were injured.

“Enough checks and balances are in place, from magisterial enquiry to NHRC, and the PUCL guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court. Out of the 140 police encounters in which magisterial inquiries were ordered till July 11, enquiry reports have been submitted in case of 96 encounters, and 81 have been accepted by the courts,” they said.

“The recent statement containing its judgmental allegations against the Uttar Pradesh government under the garb of protecting the Constitution is an irresponsible and wholly misconceived statement. The political agenda group, while levelling false allegations, has gone horribly wrong on facts, and haywire in its analysis,” they claimed.