By Linus Garg
What is happening in Uttar Pradesh? First the UP police arrested a freelance journalist for a Twitter post and then they arrested an editor and TV channel owner for discussing the post and the story that was mentioned in the post. The Supreme Court released them all, saying that the merits of the case did not warrant such an assault on personal liberty.
Then, Darvesh Yadav, a 38-year old lawyer who was elected as the first woman chairperson of the UP Br Council just a couple of days ago, was murdered by another lawyer who shared an office with her inside the Agra district court premises.
Further, in a ghastly incident, a TV journalist who had run a story about unauthorized vendors on the railway station in Shamli in western UP, was brutally assaulted by the SHO and constables of the GRP and locked up. The journalist claims they urinated in his mouth. He was released after hundreds of journalist demonstrated outside the GRP office. The video of the incident went viral, forcing the authorities to take action against the perpetrators. The SHO and one constable have been suspended.
Law and order issues are cropping up in the state and it is often seen that the UP police and other security agencies have scant regard for the people. Misbehaving is the mildest of charge one can pin on them. They employ every high-handed measure to suppress and even arrest people either to protect their own reputations or to please their political masters.
The government of Yogi Adityanath followed a policy of eliminating all anti-social elements in the early days of his government. But what happens when the police and the security agencies themselves turn anti-social and start harassing the very citizens they are employed to protect? The chief minister must seriously look into the charges of police high handedness and prevent them from harassing the media and other common citizens.