Uttar Pradesh: Now ‘Jungle Raj’ under the Yogi

While TV and newspapers have stopped taking interest in reporting on crime and high-handedness of ruling party’s politicians, lawlessness remains endemic under the charge of Yogi Adityanath

Photo by Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Biswajeet Banerjee

While mention of ‘Jungle Raj in Uttar Pradesh’ has disappeared from television news and front pages of newspapers, the still short tenure of Yogi Adityanath as chief minister continues to be marked by lawlessness of the kind the Yogi riled about before the election.

Forget about crime, the Uttar Pradesh Police itself has been at the receiving end in the 20-odd days of the BJP Government. During this period, as many as 15 attacks on police have been reported in which three police men are reported to have been killed.

IG (Law and order) Hari Om Sharma confirmed that attacks on police parties have been reported from Bulundshahr, Lucknow, Ambedkarnagar, Sambhal, Agra, Mathura, Phirozabad, Aligarh, Etah, Fatehgarh, Fatehpur, Pratapgarh, Hamirpur, Mau and Jaunpur.

In several cases, BJP leaders are reported to have taken the law in their hands while police chose to look the other way. In Allahabad, supporters of Stamp and Registration Department Minister Nand Kumar Nandi pushed policemen out of the escort car and took control of the wheel. BJP MLA from Bansgaon Vimlesh Paswan reached a police station and occupied the chair of the Station House Officer before giving directions to the police and admonishing the SHO that with the Yogi Government in the saddle, ‘police should learn to behave’.

Last week, in Meerut, a BJP leader Ankit Tyagi beat up a police inspector because he and his team had booked his son for drunken driving. A case has been registered against Tyagi but no one has been arrested so far.

News of crime have also disappeared before one could pronounce ‘Yogi Adityanath’. But that hardly means that crime has gone down in Uttar Pradesh. While newspapers are no longer as full of news of murder, rape or kidnapping and TV channels no longer scream of ‘goondagardi’ of political leaders, especially those belonging to ruling party.

Has then ‘Ram Rajya’ returned to UP?

There is no Ram Rajya yet – and law and order has shown no sign of improvement either since the Yogi took charge of the government with the promise of curbing lawlessness.

BJP leaders have been saying that improving law and order is the top priority of this government but there has been no respite from murder, kidnapping and rape.

The fact is news channels and newspapers seem to have lost appetite for such news. Some of the more sensational crime which have surfaced in the state during the last few weeks include the following :

  • April 4: A seven-year-old boy was kidnapped from Lucknow in broad day light. The same day kidnappers released that boy but no one has been arrested so far.
  • April 8: Robbers struck a jeweller’s shop in Chowk market in Varanasi and escaped with jewellery worth ₹10 crore. Possibly the most brazen robbery in Varanasi in recent times, no one has been arrested so far despite this daring heist taking place in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency.
  • April 10: Charred body of a 35-year-old man inside a car was found near Gorakhpur. Hands of the person were tied with a rope. His upper part was badly burnt while the lower part wasn’t. Police claimed that fire was caused by a short-circuit but the engine of the car was intact raising questions about the police version.

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