Murder in UP courtroom sends shockwaves

The incident raises question mark on the state government’s claim of decline in crimes and improvement in law and order situation, reports Mudit Mathur

The daylight murder of an accused person in front of trial court judge in his courtroom has sent shockwaves in the state exposing the reality behind the BJP government’s claim of decline in crimes and improvement in law and order situation.The Allahabad High Court on December 18 came heavily on the government taking suo motu cognizance of the gore incident in a courtroom of Bijnor district and summoned the state’s principal secretary home and DG Police to apprise it with a plan to strengthen security of court premises.

Bijnor court murder, crime against women rocked both houses of UP legislature on Wednesday. Noisy scenes were witnessed as the Opposition parties criticised the state government over the worsening law and order situation, particularly a spurt in crime against women and the killing of an undertrial in a court in Bijnor on December 17. Expressing dissatisfaction with the CM’s reply, the SP, BSP and Congress MLAs rushed into the well of the house and shouted slogans against the state government.

A murder accused brutally killed in broad daylight inside the crowded courtroom and three others sustained injuries in the attack on December 17.The Bench expressed deep anguish.“It seems there is complete failure of law and order inside court premises in state. The most incompetent police professionals deployed for security of court premises in state. Is government serious about court security? Are top officials even aware about these incidents which happened in recent past in different courts of Uttar Pradesh?” the angry bench comprising Justices Sudhir Agarwal and Sunit Kumar queried while posting the matter forfurther hearing on December 20.

The judges told the Additional Advocate General that strengthening of court security in state is an issue since 2008 but not much has been done in reality. “If state government cannot provide adequate security in court premises then we will ask central government to deploy central forces for it,” the judges observed. “Three recent incident of attacks on undertrial in Muzaffarnagar, on a lady lawyer in Agra and now in Bijnor shows that now criminals are so fearless in state that they are now entering court rooms and killing people,” they said.

Shahnawaz, killed in the Bijnor attack, was accused in the murders of property dealer and BSP leader Haji Ehsaan and his nephew Shadab on May 28 in Najibabad.

The police had arrested Danish, Shahnawaz and shooter Abdul Jabbar in connection with the murders. On December 17 afternoon, Shahnawaz was brought from Tihar jail to the CJM’s court for a hearing.

Sahil Khan, son of Haji Ehsaan, had barged into the courtroom along with his two aides and pumped three bullets into Shahnawaz, while also injuring two policemen.Both were brought to the CJM court for hearing from Tihar jail in Delhi on Tuesday afternoon when the assailants fired at them, leaving Shahnawaz dead. Co-accused Jabbar suffered serious injuries.Two cops, who rushed to save the victims, were also injured in the firing.

There was complete panic in the courtroom and along with the others, even the judge had to run away to save his life.Police claimed arrest of all three attackers after chasing them in the court compound but sources belie their claim and said that they themselves surrendered after executing revenge before the judge.

Replying to a heated debate before assembly the chief minister Yogi Adityanath termed the killing in the Bijnor court as unfortunate and said the state government had prepared a plan for security of courts across the state.Once the high court approvesit we will implement the same. Replying to allegation of Congress, “the state government had constituted a special investigation team (SIT) in the Unnao case and five persons were arrested. The SIT was probing in the Mainpuri case as well and DNA samples of the accused had been sent to a laboratory,” he said.

Earlier raising the issue in the state assembly during zero hour, Samajwadi Party legislature party leader Ram GobindChaudhary alleged that law and order had totally collapsed in the state where women were being raped and set ablaze in various districts.

Mr. Chaudhary said the state of affairs under BJP rule could be gauged from the fact that 86 cases of rape were reported within 11 months in Unnao district.Even International human right agencies had described UP as the number one state in the country in terms of crime against women, he remarked.

He also said the United States and several European countries had issued advisory to its women tourists to avoid visiting Uttar Pradesh.