How the UP government is demolishing the mafia
Earlier, criminals had political protection. Now, with a fierce crackdown, they are being punished and eliminated
The dacoit gangs in the ravines of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Madhya Pradesh (MP), especially the Banda and Patha area of Chitrakoot of the latter, were always a serious challenge for successive state governments. But these dacoit gangs were successfully wiped out, largely in the 1980s. It was then that the terror of the urban mafia surged in UP.
The inception and subsequent rise of the urban mafia did not come out of the blue. It flourished thanks to open political patronage. The Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are mainly responsible for its rise. Members of the mafia were not only given political protection, but, in many cases, tickets to facilitate their entry into the state legislature and Parliament.
Let us look at a few such entrants — Hari Shankar Tiwari, Virendra Paratp Shahi, Atiq Ahmad, Mukhtar Ansari, Vijay Mishra, Uday Bhan Singh, DP Yadav, Madan Bhaiyya, UmakantYadav, Sonu , Monu Singh, PawanPandey, Aruna Shankar Shukla “Anna”.
This trend has continued until now with criminals such as Vikas Dubey emerging from the protective shadow of politicians. While not enough attention is being paid to the massacre of policemen at Bikru in Kanpur , an outrageous and horrific incident, people are comparing the encounter of the main accused Vikas Dubey with the incident of Telangana where four criminals, accused of a rape/murder , were killed by the police while on an evidence-gathering mission at night. It is fallacious to compare these two incidents. The Telangana killing was clearly a criminal act by the police.
Dubey was a criminal who had a history of challenging the sanctity of constitutional institutions and the judiciary. In early 2000s, he killed the then minister of state Santosh Shukla inside the premises of a court and was then absolved. It turned him into a vicious and unrestrained criminal, as was evident in the manner he killed eight policemen. He seemed to believe he could not be touched. But he did not factor in the resolve of the Yogi Adityanath government in UP.
Unlike in the encounter in Telangana, Dubey was killed after he tried to escape taking advantage of the situation as the police van carrying him overturned. Dubey had, in fact, snatched the rifle of a policeman accompanying him and opened fire at the police party. Two constables sustained injuries because of this. The police returned fire to minimise further casualties and, in this fracas, Dubey was killed on July 10.
The police were prepared to produce him in the court to undergo the legal process. They took him from Ujjain but the unforeseen accident of the police van, and reckless and indiscreet action on the part of the criminal as the party neared Kanpur, prompted the police to act in self-defence. Don’t forget that it was just a few days earlier that he had murdered eight uniformed personnel.
In the Telangana incident, all of four accused had no case against them in any police station. In contrast, Dubey had 64 criminal cases pending against him and he was a notorious historysheeter, carrying a reward of ~5 lakh on his head.
The UP government has appointed a probe commission to enquire into this encounter. It has also set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to take an in-depth look into his crimes, his political connections and other activities. The district magistrate of Kanpur has also requested the district judge to institute an inquiry under the supervision of a judicial magistrate. No such action was taken by the Telangana government.
The policy of “zero tolerance” towards organised crime and criminals adopted by the Yogi Adityanath-led government has resulted in the elimination of over 100 criminals in the approximately 4,000 encounters that have taken place in his term.
Such has been the effectiveness of the UP police’s effectiveness that criminals with rewards on their heads started surrendering in police stations holding up placards. Members of mafia groups such as those run by Mukhtar Ansari and Atiq Ahmad,who controlled their empires from jail, are languishing in penal facilities in Punjab and Ahmedabad.
Any mafia can be demolished if its economic backbone is broken. The Yogi government did it with precision and attacked the illegal financial network of the mafias and gangsters. In a planned manner in western UP, the properties of gangsters such as Badan Singh Baddo, Anil Dujana, Sunder Bhati, Udhan Singh Karnawal, Manish Chauhan, Yogesh Bhadaura, and Amit Kasana were attached or demolished. This dealt them a crushing blow.
It is now only a matter of time before the UP government destroys the entire mafia network in the state and makes it safer for people, especially the most vulnerable.