RIBHU RANJAN | 6 DECEMBER, 2018
Law and order goes for a toss in UP
NEW DELHI: It took Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath 'only' three days to meet the family of police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, who was killed by a mob protesting cow slaughter in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahar.
And even then he did not visit the grieving family's home, but instead Subodh Singh's wife, two sons and sister had to travel from Etah to the chief minister's residence in Lucknow for the meeting.
The CM's meeting with the family took place only after Adityanath could no longer ignore the massive criticism for his silence on the dastardly murder of the police inspector. The UP chief minister, who had pledged to make law and order his first priority after coming to power, was refusing now even to and acknowledge the murder and violence that overtook Bulandshahar, with a right wing mob shooting Singh dead for doing his duty and trying to restore peace.
Subodh Singh’s sister, overcome with grief, said that for Yogi Adityanath it was all about "cows, cows, and cows" and not taking action against the killers. She also asked reporters in Etah why the CM who talks about the “gau (cow)" did not acknowledge her brother, as after all he had “lost his life for it (the cow).”
While a probe has been announced and one should wait for its findings, the state needs to answer some questions, Director-General of UP Police Om Prakash Singh told the media.
So, what was CM Yogi Adityanath up to in the span of three days before he met Subodh Singh's family on December 6? What kept him so busy?
a) The chief minister remained busy campaigning in the states, with photographs being released on the social media
b) He flew down to Gorakhpur for a sound-and-light show, from Rajasthan where he was busy campaigning
c) He went on to attend a kabaddi event, also in Gorakhpur
d) He then announced compensation for the officer's family – but only after Singh’s family had refused to cremate the body in the face of the government's silence
e) He then called a late night meeting in Lucknow to review the law and order situation. And gave instructions to the police to arrest those responsible for the alleged cow slaughter – which has continued to dominate his discourse.
Finally, when the social media erupted in protest, and reports from western UP confirmed a wave of anger against Adityanath and the government, he finally decided to meet the family. And sent word that the grieving wife and children could meet him in Lucknow, which they did.
A local Bajrang Dal leader, 'Yogesh Raj' has been named as one of the accused in the Bulandshahar violence. As per the FIR filed by a sub-inspector a couple of hours later, "Around 1.35 pm, under the leadership of Yogesh Raj they (the mob) reached Chingrawati Chowk and blocked the road… They were asked to go to the police station and collect a copy of the FIR but the mob turned more violent".
On the other hand, Subhodh Kumar Singh’s son told the media, "My father wanted me to be a citizen who does not incite violence in the name of religion. Today my father lost his life in this Hindu-Muslim controversy, tomorrow whose father will lose his life?"
He said that this violence should stop, and law and order restored in the state. This was before the family met the chief minister.
In April 2018, as per media reports CM Yogi Adityanath told officials in a meeting in Pratapgarh district that "maintaining law and order and ensuring corruption-free administration are priorities of the state government. No laxity will be tolerated on these fronts and strict action will be taken against lax officers."
The recent Bulandshahar incident spells out a different story. The state of lawlessness, violence and killing of an on-duty police inspector in the district on December 3 highlighted the stark impunity that mobs have been granted these days.
When cow carcasses were allegedly found in an 'unclaimed' trolley in an isolated area, a mob quickly gathered and demanded action against the alleged killers. This mob went to the police post and indulged in rioting and arson, killing two people including Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh.