Paper balls, paper planes and balloons in UP Assembly: Samajwadi Party protests against encounters of dreaded criminals

Yogi Adityanath has always spoken of the necessity of both Shastra and Shaastra and amidst rising clamour from the National Human Rights Commission, he reaffirmed his commitment towards Shastra in an event at Gorakhpur. Answering his critics on his policy of encounters, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh said, “Suraksha ki guarantee har vyakti ko milni chahiye. Lekin jo log samaj ka mahaul bigadna chaahte hain, jinlogon ki bandook ki nok pe vishwas hai, unhe bandook ki hi bhasha mein jawab dena chahiye. Yeh main poori spashta ke saath prashaasan se kahoonga.” Previously, he had said, “criminals will be jailed or killed in encounters.”

The Uttar Pradesh Police has been conducting encounters against dreaded criminals at a remarkable frequency since the Mahant of Gorakhnath Math took over as the Chief Minister of the state. Thus far, over 1,100 encounters have been conducted and 38 criminals have been eliminated. Hundreds of others have been arrested.

Although the public has been supportive of the Chief Minister’s drive to root out lawlessness from the society, not every political organization was pleased with the actions of the police. A notice was sent to the UP government in November for the encounters by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). However, most displeased were the members of the Samajwadi party who protested in the Assembly holding placards with slogans such as “Nirdoshon ki farzi encounter band karo (stop fake encounters of innocents)” and “Kansganj ke sampradayik hinsa mein nirdosh logon pe zulm bandh karo (stop harassing innocents in Kansganj)”.

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During their protest, the Opposition resorted to throwing paper planes, paper balls and balloons at Governor Ram Naik. Attacking the Opposition, Yogi Adityanath said, “This type of behaviour shatters the parliamentary tradition … Paper balls were thrown, balloons were flown. The use of foul language for the governor by the Samajwadi Party members in the presence of their leaders is indeed unparliamentary and a despicable act.” Also, the Chief Minister said the behaviour of the Samajwadi Party MLAs pointed towards the reason behind the anarchy in the state previously.

From his words and recent statements, it seems clear that Yogi Adityanath’s conviction towards restoring law and order in the state has not shattered despite stiff opposition from political parties as well as the NHRC. And it seems inevitable that the NHRC’s words will fall on deaf ears and its complaints will go unheeded.

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