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Why have we normalised “encounter' killings?

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On March 20, 2024, the Bombay High Court convicted former police officer Pradeep Sharma in a 18-year-old “fake” encounter killing of Ramnarayan Gupta, who was allegedly from Chhota Rajan gang. Gupta was sentenced to life imprisonment. This is not the norm, but more of an exception. 

Encounters are normalised in India. Recently, the UP police encountered a murder accused in Badaun district. The father of two boys who were murdered appealed to the police not to encounter the co-accused because they wanted some answers as to why the children were killed.

This is an episode from April last year when Sneha Richhariya spoke to Prakash Singh, ex-IPS Officer when the UP police killed alleged mafia don and politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother in the presence of media persons. Prakash Singh served as Director general of Police, Uttar Pradesh. He has also served in Assam and Border Security Force. Singh filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court seeking police reforms, in which a landmark verdict was delivered.He explained what does the systemic apathy about encounter killings mean for the society.

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