NEW DELHI (TIP): Uttar Pradesh’s high-handedness is not just reflected in the arbitrary transfer of officers such as Durga Sakthi Nagpal and slapping of bogus cases against dissenters (as in the case of Dalit scholar Kanwal Bharti), it can also be seen in the massive number of illegal arrests made by the UP police.
According to National Human Rights Commission data, UP records an overwhelming majority of illegal arrests in the country, accounting for more than 80% of all such cases. In fact, it tips its nearest competitor, Delhi, by over 3,000% almost year after year. In the past three years (April 2010 to July 2013), UP accounted for 3,397 illegal arrests out of 3,950 such cases recorded across India by NHRC.
The count for the rest of the 27 states and seven union territories put together was just 553. “What do you expect from a state where many politicians themselves are criminals? How do you expect them to have any respect for law and order or human rights?” says Colin Gonsalves of Human Rights Law Network.
From April 2012 to March 2013, NHRC recorded 703 cases of illegal arrests in all. As many as 589 of these were against the UP police. UP accounts for 161 of 192 illegal arrests in ’13 Its closest rivals in this dubious distinction, Uttarakhand and Delhi, were way behind with 14 cases each. Data for this period shows only two other states where the number of illegal arrests had crossed double figures — Karnataka (12) and Andhra Pradesh (10).
In 2013 too (April 1 to July 20), UP accounted for 161 such cases of the total of 192 recorded by NHRC in the entire country. Its closest rival, Delhi, was again was behind with only five cases.