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Ignoring law and order, 'insecure' Yogi govt preoccupied in fighting opponents

President Ram Nath Kovind
By Sandeep Pandey*
One would wonder why after such a show of triumphalism at the foundation laying ceremony of grand Ram temple on August 5, in Ayodhya the Uttar Pradesh government would stoop so low to put a lock outside the Aam Admi Party office in Lucknow. What makes it feel insecure? 

After all, AAP is an outsider in UP politics. The UP government seems to have been unsettled by comments made by AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh who has described the absence of President Ram Nath Kovind from the foundation laying ceremony for Ram temple in Ayodhya as Bhartiya Janata Party’s anti-Dalit character. Because of this he was complimented by Dalit and Other Backward Caste leaders.
Leader of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, representing the OBC Rajbhar community, which was in alliance with BJP during Narendra Modi’s first term as Prime Minister, Om Prakash Rajbhar even gave an indication of a future alliance of his party with AAP.
Sanjay Singh also said that there was anarchy in the state. Police has no control over criminals and government has lost control over police. What seems to have rattled the UP government most was its description as a pro-Thakur government by Sanjay Singh. Incidentally both Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Sanjay Singh belong to this caste.
If we consider the incidents in the state over the recent past, post-Yogi government’s grand pronouncements after over a hundred criminals were eliminated in encounters, these included abduction of Sanjit Yadav on June 22 in Kanpur, payment of Rs 30 lakh as ransom by his relatives to abductors in the presence of police, with his murder taking place even before this payment was made by throwing his body in Pandu river.
Then, there was killing of 8 policemen on July 3 by dreaded Vikas Dubey, followed by killing of Vikas Dubey on July 11 and 6 of his colleagues in encounters with police.
On August 6 a six years old girl was kidnapped and raped in Hapur. She is now undergoing treatment in Meerut. This was followed by an incident on August 7 when after a 16 years old girl was molested by her nephew Anup Yadav. When a complaint was sought to be registered at Govind Nagar police station in Kanpur, she was asked by inspector Anurag Mishra to dance before him before he registered a complaint.
On August 9, Mukhtar Ansari’s shooter Rakesh Pandey was gunned down in Lucknow. Pandey was described as an accused in BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai’s murder case in which he was acquitted by court.
On August 10, Sudiksha Bhati, student from United States who had returned home in Bulandshahar due to lockdown, died after an alleged incident of harassment as she fell from a motorcycle in Greater Noida.
On August 11 former BJP president of district Bagpat Sanjay Khokhar was murdered when he was on morning walk. Around the same time, BJP MLA Rajkumar Sahyogi slapped SHO of Gonda Police Station in Aligarh after he entered the police station with his supporters and ensuing scuffle after which the SHO was suspended and SP, Rural, was transferred under the pressure of BJP MP Satish Gautam.
Sanjay Singh
On August 13, 12 years old Kartik of Umarpur village in district Shamli was murdered and his naked body found in a field. On August 14, the body of 13 years old girl was found in a field in Pakariya village of Lakhimpur Khiri after rape and murder. On the same day a 17 years old girl was kidnapped, raped and give cigarette burns by two men in Gorakhpur. 
On 14 August itself Dalit Gram Pradhan Pappu Ram of Basgaon village was murdered in Azamgarh by upper caste men and then an 8 year old boy crushed to death by a police jeep in the ensuing melee.
And on August 16, advocate Rajeshwar Pandey was murdered on in rural Gorakhpur by his relative in a land dispute, and the same day Dayashankar Mishra and son Anand, was lynched to death by neighbours in a public gathering, called to resolve the land dispute by some lawyers in rural Pratapgarh.
These are just an indication that the law and order has gone for a toss in UP.
An important reason why the law and order has crumbled in UP is because the government was busy targeting its political opponents by lodging false cases against them.
These included sending to jail after filing false cases against Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, UP state President of Socialist Party (India), spokesperson of All India People’s Front and retired IPS officer, SR Darapuri, Congress worker Sadaf Jafar and hundreds of activists and common citizens who were involved in anti-Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens movement.
Additionally they were sent recovery notices for damages to public and private property during protests even before charges were proved in a court of law.
Then, UP Congress President Ajay Kumar Lallu was sent to jail on charges of having provided false papers related to registration of some vehicles that his party had offered to UP government to transport migrant workers during lockdown. President of UP Congress minority cell Shahnawaz Alam was sent to jail later for his participation in anti-CAA, NRC protests.
Also, amidst lockdown, the UP police travelled from Ayodhya to Delhi to serve notice to “The Wire” editor Siddharth Varadarajan as he had raised question on UP government’s willingness to give nod to the Ram Navami fair in Ayodhya amidst lockdown.
And now there are cases against Sanjay Singh for promoting enmity among communities and putting lock on AAP office in Lucknow.
These incidents betray the preoccupations of UP government.
This is now a trend in BJP run governments. They are ever ready to curb fundamental right to freedom of expression by initiating police actions to terrorise their political opponents at slightest of provocation.
Yogi Adityanath must understand that the oft repeated prodigal utopia of Ramraj will not come by building a temple in Ayodhya. As his ‘thok do’ (kill criminals in encounters with police) policy has quite clearly failed he needs to seriously deliberate on how his government can bring some semblance of law and order in the state by ending the prevalent anarchy.
---
*Magsaysay award winning social activist, vice president, Socialist Party (India)

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