A petition filed in the Supreme Court has demanded both CBI and NIA to investigate the extra-judicial killing of three inmates by police in Chitrakoot prison of Uttar Pradesh.
The petition demanded an investigation into the issues relating to the killings of three undertrial/jail inmates that happened in Chitrakoot Jail, District Chitrakoot of Uttar Pradesh on May 14, 2021, and fix accountability and take appropriate action against whosoever may be found responsible.
It further sought investigation by CBI and NIA into all the extra-judicial killings that happened after March 18, 2017 in the state of Uttar Pradesh till date with special terms of reference as to how many of such extra-judicial killings were done under the direct orders of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Adityanath Yogi and take appropriate action, if found any culpability.
The plea has been moved by Advocate Anoop Kumar Shukla requesting a probe into the incident of 14th May in Chitrakoot Jail whereby 3 killings happened inside the jail, therefore the plea stated, “The police version of the three killings that happened on May 14, 202l in the Chitrakoot Jail of Uttar Pradesh shows that one under trial Anshu Dixit from Sitapur lodged in Chihakoot Jail opened fire and killed two others in the jail and was shot by police in retaliatory fire.
A video circulating in media said that Anshu Dixit is seen saying about the plans of jail authorities to kill him by some means through STF.
It is further astonishing to find that the two other killed inmates namely Merajuddin and Mukim Kala were transferred to Chitrakoot Jail only recently on 20th March 2021 and 7th May 2021 respectively purportedly as part of larger design behind the shootout.”
The plea further read, “Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Adityanath Yogi has opened the culture of encounters/extrajudicial killings and after becoming Chief Minister in 2017, has gone on record to say Police in UP will now respond to a bullet with a bullet. “Unlike the previous govemment, I have given full authority to the force to deal with criminals in the most appropriate way possible” and reportedly announced in the UP state assembly “apradhiyon ko thok diya jayega” meaning thereby that “criminals will be killed” completely forgetting the enshrined ideals of separation of power intertwined in the basic structure of our constitution and fundamental right to life under Article 21, and thus encroached upon the domain of punishment and sanctioning the taking of life in encounters without following the due process of law, which is not expected by the head of an elected govemment in our great country truly required to be governed by rule of law.
The plea further read, “In a mature, civilized, democratic, rule of law based county like India, history of violence should be remembered, not repeated but in State of Uttar Pradesh, a battle of Agincourt is being fought in its jails where the police, (‘an organized band of criminals’ as Hon’ble Justice A. N. Mulla said half century ago) the under the direct orders of the top of the administration is summerly executing the prisoners on frivolous excuses like snatching of pistol or firing by the dead, defying conscience, constitution, fundamental rights, human rights and this culture of violence promoted in the state of UP militates against the basic notion of very rule of law where violence has become a collective enterprise to portray the authority of government and obscure its failures.”
The plea also expressed concern that, “The extra-judicial killings if gone unchecked then the life of any citizen can be taken anytime by the state agencies. Any enmity or private dispute or quest of settling private score may lead to filing of few criminal cases in some police station against the undesired person, branding him a dreaded criminal within days, to be taken into custody as under trial, and fellow may be eliminated by being shot anytime anywhere by the police/law enforcement authorities on any false pretext like attempt of snatching a rifle or pistol of a fellow police personnel during transportation or even inside the jail.”
“In our system a life can be taken only through the ‘procedure established by law’ after following ‘due process’ through our judicial machinery prescribed in our constitution.” The plea highlights.
The plea further submits that, “What is not being said but is so obvious that these killing are motivated, extrajudicial, done in cold blood that in the sequence of narration provided and same is part of the ‘thok do culture’ directly promoted by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath Ji which is completely * antithesis of Rule of Law.”
“Few years ago one Munna Bajrangi was shot dead in almost similar dramatic manner inside the Bagpat Jail of Uttar Pradesh. Vikas Dubey encounter happened last year is another example where Apex Court intervened and matter is still pending,” the plea read.