Lucknow: Indicating that encounters of criminals will continue in Uttar Pradesh, the new Director-General of Police, Om Prakash Singh, said on Tuesday that there was nothing to overlook about the encounter policy followed under his predecessor Sulkhan Singh.
“... Our primary aim is to catch the criminals, if they attack, we will retaliate,” a report in the Hindu quoted the DGP.
Over 30 persons with criminal cases and four policemen have been killed in police encounters in the State since March last year when the Yogi Adityanath government took over. Raising concerns over the spurt in encounters amid allegations that they were staged, the NHRC even issued suo motu notice to the government.
"Encounters keep happening because we try to catch the criminals. And whenever the police come face to face, we have two options left. Either you arrest them or if they fire at you, in self defence you fire at them," Singh told reporters here in his first media interaction after taking over.
Singh defended the encounters taking place in UP, saying several policemen had also been injured during crossfire with criminals.
"We have opened fire in self defence. That factor has to be kept in mind. Our primary aim is to catch the criminals if but they attack, we will retaliate," the DGP said.
The senior officer's appointment to the top post was not short on controversy as despite his name being announced on New Year's eve, he took charge only on Tuesday, more than three weeks later.
A 1983-batch IPS officer, Singh, 58, was born in Gaya in Bihar but has substantial field experience in Uttar Pradesh, serving in different areas and capacities. He holds a masters degree in political science.