Yogi’s minister questions encounters, demands CBI probe into specific incident

Om Prakash Rajbhar said many innocents or people accused of petty crimes were being killed in encounters

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Biswajeet Banerjee

Even as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is patting his back, claiming encounters of notorious criminals with awards on their heads has helped restore law and order in Uttar Pradesh, one of the ministers in his own state cabinet has raised questions over these encounters and demanded a CBI probe into a specific incident.

The state Minister for Development of Backward Class and Department of Disabled people, Om Prakash Rajbhar, has raised questions over killing of one Manoj Rajbhar in an encounter in Azamgarh in eastern Uttar Pradesh. The police claimed that he was a dreaded criminal and was carrying an award of Rs 50,000 on his head.

Demanding a CBI probe into the matter, the minister said that police should come clean and tell people and family members of Manoj as to when this award was announced on his head. The police should also clarify the nature of crime Manoj had committed previously, he said.

Manoj was killed on January 26 in Azamgarh. The police had claimed that he was a wanted criminal and when he was waylaid, he fired at policemen. In retaliation, police also opened fire. Manoj had received fatal bullet injuries and he succumbed to those injuries in the hospital, the police said.

“His parents met me two days back and told me the whole story as to how Manoj had gone to Kanpur to earn his living. He was once arrested in a case of theft but this crime does not merit any encounter. I have written a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath requesting him to order a CBI probe into the matter,” the minister told National Herald.

He said that killing in the name of encounters is not the right method to control crime. Many innocents or people facing non-grievous charges are being killed in the name of encounters. “In fact, CM has given a licence to police to kill people in cold blood and this should end,” he said.

Interestingly, the minister in Yogi government raised a banner of revolt after the Chairman of the Legislative Council had asked the government to order a CBI probe into encounters in Noida. The Chairman voiced concern over the way a police inspector opened fire at a gym trainer in Noida.

Rajbhar, who is the founder of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, an ally of BJP, has time and again questioned the working methods of the Chief Minister. He had once even claimed that police stations have become the most corrupt under the Yogi raj. He claimed that in previous regime, the amount of bribe used to be Rs 500 in police stations which has gone up to Rs 5,000 during Yogi’s rule.

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