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Priyanka questioned for ‘criminals roaming in UP’ comment

While Uttar Pradesh Police, State government, academic Madhu Kishwar among others questioned Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra, Akhilesh Yadav supported the Congress general secretary

Editorials

In India

Lucknow: After Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra Saturday hit out at the Yogi Adityanath government alleging that criminals were “roaming around freely, doing whatever they wish” in Uttar Pradesh, the comment drew a quick retort from the police, the State government, members of civil society, fans of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and supporters of the BJP.

Uttar Pradesh Police claimed there was a decline in crime rates in the State. Replying to Gandhi’s tweet, the State police tweeted, “UP police has initiated strict action in serious crimes. In the past two years, 9,925 criminals were arrested and 81 killed. In action under NSA (National Security Act), property worth Rs 200 crore was seized. There has been a decline in incidents of dacoity, murder, loot and kidnapping.”

“Visible policing, strong monitoring, effective action against hardened criminals & public interaction has enabled us to win the confidence of people. Crime under all major heads is down by 20-35%. We are committed to the safety and security of citizens of the State,” the State police added.

State Law Minister Brijesh Pathak, when asked about Gandhi’s remarks, asserted that since the formation of BJP government in the State, the network of criminals has been broken.

The UP minister said, “The network of criminals has been broken in the State. Our government is acting tough on criminals. There are incidents of crime due to enmity and prompt action is taken by police wherever crime is reported.”

Academic-activist Madhu Purnima Kishwar drew a pot-kettle analogy to say on Twitter, “Sure enough criminals and seamsters are roaming free. Pity that Sonia-Vadra given bail by courts.”

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had earlier written on Twitter, “In entire Uttar Pradesh, criminals are roaming around freely, doing whatever they wish. Incidents of crime continue to happen but it has fallen on deaf ears of the BJP government. Has the Uttar Pradesh government surrendered before criminals?”

Gandhi-Vadra also tagged along with her tweet news headlines of different crime reports in the State.

Priyanka gets support from Akhilesh

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav joined the Congress general secretary in attacking the Adityanath government. “The government is manipulating data to drive home the point that crime is declining,” Yadav said.

The Samajwadi Party chief said the State government’s claim of crime control was “hollow”.

“The UP government’s claim of crime control is hollow. Everyday loot, murder and rape is happening in the State, but the government is mum. Police are taking law into their hands and harassing people,” Akhilesh Yadav said. He alleged that a teenager accused of theft was tortured in the State capital. “If such is the situation in Lucknow, one can imagine the State of affairs in other districts,” he said.

After a video of two inmates flashing a countrymade pistol in the State’s Unnao jail went viral on social media, the Samajwadi Party had termed the incident an “open challenge” to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The party alleged that jails in the State were in the pocket of criminals.

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