Even as many in the state are outraged at the killing of an Apple executive in Lucknow by two cops, UP Irrigation Minister Dharampal Singh not only tried to evade questions on the incident but also triggered a controversy by harping on the successes of encounters in the state.
When asked to comment on the killing of Vivek Tiwari in the light of controversial encounters in the state, Singh said, “Encounter me aisi koi galti nahi hui. Usi ko goli lag rahi hai jo vaastav mein criminal hai. Nyay sabko, jo galti karega usko dand milega. (No such mistake has happened in encounters. Only actual criminals are receiving the bullet. Justice will be given to all. Those who commit mistakes will be punished).”
“There was mafia raj in Samajwadi Party rule that is being eradicated. Everything else is alright. There is no compromise on criminals,” he said.
Singh kept speaking about encounters even as journalists questioned him on Tiwari’s killing.
“Coming to your question, it is a blessing for both the nation and the state. It is an even bigger blessing for Varanasi as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the elected MP from here. Yogi-raj begins from where the rule of emperors end. Justice for all and no appeasement for anyone,” he said.
Singh’s comment comes as a raging controversy engulfed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state over the killing of Vivek Tiwari, an assistant sales manager for Apple India who was allegedly shot dead in the wee hours of Saturday by cops on patrol duty.
The alleged shooting took place around 1:30 am in Lucknow’s Gomti Nagar area.
The policeman shot at a car on noticing alleged suspicious activity, injuring the driver of the vehicle which then rammed into a wall.
The incident happened when Tiwari was heading home after the launch of iPhone X Plus with a female colleague.
Vivek’s body was brought with bullet injury to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where he succumbed during treatment.
His wife Kalpana Tiwari has demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident.
In a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Kalpana has also demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore and a job in the police department.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is in Gorakhpur, said Vivek’s killing was “not an encounter”.
“It was not an encounter. An investigation will be conducted in this incident. If needed, we will order a CBI inquiry into the incident,” he told reporters.
Prashant Chaudhary and Sandeep Kumar, the policemen accused of shooting Vivek, have been arrested and charged under Section 302 of IPC. The UP Police have also ordered an SIT investigation into the Vivek’s death.