In a chilling audio clip released by a ‘wanted criminal’ in Uttar Pradesh, a police inspector can be heard advising him that if he wanted to live, he needed to manage the district BJP chief and a local BJP MLA.
The alleged criminal with 60 cases against him, Lekhraj Yadav, apparently recorded the conversation on Friday, hours before he escaped an encounter planned by the police. He then released the conversation, which confirms a ‘jungle raj’ with police given a free hand.
Police officers in Lucknow admitted in private conversations that ruling party politicians in the state were busy striking bargains with the criminals. Policemen are being used as middlemen and offered a percentage of the money the politicians receive. The incriminating conversation, now freely circulating on social media, also has police inspector Sumeet Singh insinuating that politicians were making money in Crores.
“Madad Karo, yaar, madad karo” (Help me out, my friend, save me) is the plaintive appeal with which the chilling audio tape opens. It is greeted with a guffaw from the other end. “You don’t realise my helplessness. I cannot do anything,” says the man on the other end, now identified as Inspector Sumeet Kumar Singh, SHO of Mauranipur Police Station in Jhansi district
He then goes on to name the BJP district president Sanjay Dubey and a local MLA Rajiv Singh Paaricha. “Manage these two people if you want to live,” Yadav is informed.
“The season of encounters is on.... Your mobile number is under surveillance and you will be killed soon. Manage the Babina MLA and the BJP district president if you want to save yourself,"
“We are the biggest criminals," the voice adds, laughing. "I have killed many people and thrown them away.... You are a good man. God is with you.... But my history is very bad but my future is bright,” the inspector goes on to add.
The policeman keeps laughing and sounds alternately exasperated and indulgent. Yadav asks in a gently mocking tone that surely the brave Sumeet Singh was second to none and surely the top brass would not dare send him to a ‘Daak Khana’ ( Post Office). Yadav possibly meant that the inspector would surely not be posted to a place where he would not be able to earn anything.
Police officers in Lucknow admitted in private conversations that ruling party politicians in the state were busy striking bargains with the criminals. Policemen are being used as middlemen and offered a percentage of the money the politicians receive.
The mocking tone triggers a torrent of abuse from the inspector. Once he calms down, it is he who is heard pleading. “Please try to understand. The system has changed. During the previous 14 years, how many encounters took place under SP or BSP rule ? But now it is the BJP Government and the system from top to bottom is involved (in encounter killing),” he asserts.
Yadav repeatedly says that cases against him are false. “You know these are false … Supreme Court and High Court cannot order enquiry on false cases,” he pleads.
Yadav, the inspector replies, is a ‘good man, a smart man and wise’ and should know what is good for him. Now that the system has changed, he should become a part of the system, the inspector advises.
Yadav repeatedly enquires if orders were out to kill him in an encounter. “ Sharma Ji aayenge ? …Dubey Ji lage huwe hain…” he asks. But the inspector is non-committal. “ I cannot tell you much over the phone. But your location is being traced. The STF is involved and even if you are protected by 40-50 people, it will not help,” he says before adding philosophically that every man faces ups and downs in life.
When he gets exasperated, the inspector reminds Yadav that there were 60 cases against him and his was the fittest case for an encounter killing. Didn’t he go to jail even during the Samajwadi Party regime, the inspector taunts.
The inspector also insinuates that politicians in the system were making money in Crores. “But that is the system. Now you decide who can help you…” he is heard telling Yadav.
There is a spate of encounters in Uttar Pradesh since Yogi Government came to power last year. Many of them are believed to be fake or staged encounters. Trigger happy UP policemen have so far carried out over 2000 encounters in which 47 criminals have been killed and over 500 injured. Police claim over 6000 criminals have surrendered.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has defended police action saying the people will be given reply in the language they understand. The National Human Rights Commission has taken an affront to the language used by Yogi.