Gangster Vikas Dubey's death has once again put the spotlight on the steep rise in encounters in Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's tenure. Dubey was killed in an encounter on July 10 after a police vehicle carrying him from Ujjain to Kanpur had met with an accident and he tried to escape from the spot in Bhauti area, a senior police official said.
"Dubey was injured in the encounter and he was declared dead in the hospital," ADG Kanpur range JN Singh said.
Since the time Yogi Adityanath came to power in March 2017, the Bharatiya Janata Party and its many supporters have been bestowing fulsome praise for his "handling of crime".
Vikas Dubey encounter: Truth will never come out, say netizens
Uttar Pradesh has seen a spike in encounter killings by police since the advent of the Yogi Adityanath government in 2017. In fact, after assuming the CM's office, Yogi Adityanath declared his intention of making the state crime-free.
In an interview to India TV in June 2017, Adityanath said, “Agar apradh karenge toh thok diye jayenge (If they commit crimes, they will be hit).”
Later in the day, the UP police announced that the government was allowing district police chiefs to "announce rewards of up to Rs 1 lakh for a team that carries out an encounter."
A few months later on September 16, 2017, the UP police issued official data to mark the completion of six months of Adityanath’s government in Uttar Pradesh. The police said it had conducted 420 encounters with alleged criminals, killing 15. Figures released by the director-general of police show that a sub-inspector and 88 policemen suffered injuries in the encounters between March 20 and end of September.
Vikas Dubey Encounter LIVE Updates: Gangster killed while being taken to Kanpur
Ahead of Republic Day in 2019, Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh sent a communique to all district magistrates, asking them to publicise over 3,200 encounters and 79 killings as achievement in the first 16 months of the government, reported National Herald.
According to the letter, sent by the UP Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey, till July 2018, UP had recorded 3,026 encounters, in which 69 criminals were gunned down, 7,043 criminals were arrested, and 838 criminals sustained injuries.
In response to BSP chief Mayawati's tweet alleging that UP treated criminals like state guests, the Uttar Pradesh Police used data to make their points. The official Twitter handle of the Uttar Pradesh Police on December 6, 2019, tweeted, "103 criminals have been killed and 1,859 injured in "5,178 police engagements in the last more than 2 years."
In a landmark 2010 case
, the Supreme Court noted, "When there is a real apprehension that the aggressor might cause death or grievous hurt, in that event the right of private defence of the defender could even extend to causing of death. A mere reasonable apprehension is enough to put the right of self-defence into operation… but it is also settled position of law that a right of self-defence is only the right to defend oneself and not to retaliate. It is not a right to take revenge."