Video Editors: Vishal Kumar & Vivek Gupta
Video Producer: Shohini Bose
In 2017, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came to power in Uttar Pradesh, newly elected Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said in Ayodhya that the 'Ram Rajya' dream in UP would be fulfilled by 2019. We are halfway through 2020, people awaiting 'Ram Rajya' have to face 'Goonda Raj' instead.
Where policemen are being overpowered by criminals and not the other way round, where the police-criminal-neta nexus makes headlines, where journalists are scared to publish facts, where a student, who files an assault complaint, has to go to jail, there the janta is bound to ask, 'Janab Aise Kaise?'
‘Goonda Raj’ in UP
On 3 July, gangster Vikas Dubey and his goons fired upon and killed eight policemen in Kanpur. Meanwhile, four members of a family were killed with a sharp weapon in Prayagraj, and again the criminals are on the run.
In an interview, Adityanath had said, “Criminals will not be spared.” Following which, several encounters were conducted by the UP Police. Though many of the encounters are shrouded in mystery, crime hasn't decreased in the state.
If we talk about July 2020:
- On 6 July, two criminals on a bike shot a poultry farm manager dead in Azamgarh.
- On 5 July, an inter-college manager was killed in Jaunpur.
According to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi between 26 June and 3 July, close to 50 cases of murder were registered in Uttar Pradesh. Yes, 50 murders in eight days.
According to a report in Hindi daily Hindustan, between 1 June and 27 June, 39 murder cases were registered in the Agra zone alone.
- Meerut resident Anchal was supposed to get married on 29 June, but on 27 June, she and her father were killed at their home.
- On 25 June, a youth returning from a funeral was killed in Baliya.
- On the same day, another person was murdered in Bulandshahr.
- On 19 June, journalist Shubham Mani Tripathi was killed in broad daylight in Unnao. Local sand mafia and land mafia were allegedly involved in the killing.
- On 6 June, a Dalit youth was killed following a dispute over entering a temple.
Earlier This Year
Not just in June and July. If we look at May and April:
- On 19 May, a Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and his son were killed in Sambhal.
- Lynching of sadhus in Maharashtra's Palghar led to a lot of outrage but there was silence over the killing of two priests in Bulandshahr in April. The two priests who were sleeping inside a temple were killed by criminals.
These are recent incidents, but if we look back, then we'll get a horrific picture of 'Goonda Raj' in the state:
- On 17 July 2019, a massacre took place in Sonbhadra. Ten people were killed in the Ubha village.
- At least 20 people were killed in the anti-CAA-NRC protests in the state.
- In October 2019, in the capital Lucknow, right wing politician Kamlesh Tiwari was killed in broad daylight.
Crime Record in UP
The police force is under attack over the killing of eight policemen in Kanpur. But this is not the first time. The same state police was under attack when in 2018 Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was killed in mob violence triggered by alleged cow slaughter in Bulandshahr.
So much has been written and reported on Chinmayanand and Kuldip Singh Sengar that whole web series could be dedicated to them.
Let's take a look at the National Crime Records Bureau data.
These cases include murder of women, rape, abduction, killing for dowry, abetment to suicide, domestic violence, and acid attack among others things.
In 2016, 2,640 cases of cyber crime were reported.
When the people awaiting 'Ram Rajya' face a dreaded criminal like Vikas Dubey, come to terms with a police-criminal-neta nexus, watch journalists being threatened, even if it is in a suppressed voice, the janta will still ask, ‘Janab Aise Kaise?’