New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh Police, which has been on an encounter killing spree, seems to be now training its guns on civilians in the state. In a gruesome incident on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday, an Apple executive was gunned down by two constable rank police officials in the posh Gomti Nagar extension area of Lucknow.
As per reports, 38 year old Vivek Tiwari, area manager of Apple, along with his colleague, Sana Khan, were returning home after a mobile phone launch event when the two policemen on patrol flagged his SUV, asking them to stop. Tiwari first hit the police patrol bike and then rammed a wall while allegedly trying to escape, the police said.
“Constable Prashant Chaudhary opened fire at the car on noticing "suspicious activity" and the bullet pierced through the windscreen,” Lucknow police chief Kalanidhi Naithani was quoted as saying by ANI.
The two policemen in their defence said that the shot was fired in self-defence. The constable and his colleague have been arrested, and a murder case has been registered against them.
Terming the incident as shameful for the police force, UP Additional District General (ADG) Law & Order, Anand Kumar said, “The post mortem report establishes a firearm injury from a bullet on the left side of the chin, and viscera of the victim was preserved. Thorough investigation is being conducted to establish the sequence of events. Law has been violated in this case. If the situation demanded firing of a bullet, it could have been fired at the car tyre, even then it was not right to do so. This is a shameful incident for us.”
Meanwhile, Tiwari's wife Kalpana has written to Chief Minister Adityanath demanding a CBI inquiry into the incident. She has also demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore and a job in the police department.
"We had voted for the BJP with a lot of trust. When Yogi Adityanath became our Chief Minister, we were so happy and this is what happens to us? Which law gave Uttar Pradesh police a right to shoot him? The cops are framing him saying he was in an inappropriate position when he was shot, but if this was so, they should have arrested him from his residence,” Kalpana told mediapersons.
The victim's uncle, Tilakraj Tiwari, a former police inspector, alleged that it was a clear case of murder. "I have served as a police inspector, I know a person is never shot in the neck. Such an incident never occurred the way it has under the Yogi government," Tiwari said.
Speaking with Newsclick, senior police officer Amitabh Thakur, said, "Whatever has happened is very wrong. There is a dire need for a basic change in the police system and police thinking. This incident is very embarrassing and directs us to learn many lessons from it.”
The UP Police has been facing a lot of flak for the rise in number of ‘encounter’ killings after the Adityanath-led BJP government came to power. According to a report in The Hindu, Since March 2017, 49 persons have been killed in over 1,100 encounters, more than 370 have been injured and over 3,300 arrested across the State.
The most recent incident that invited a lot of criticism was the state police inviting the media to witness a ‘live encounter’ in Aligarh, in which two persons were shot dead.