The Supreme Court Monday said that the recent encounter killings in  UP require "serious consideration" and agreed to examine the details in this regard, setting the date of further hearing on the matter on February 12.

The apex court has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on a PIL seeking a court-monitored CBI or SIT probe into recent encounter killings in the state.

The state government earlier told the court the encounters took place in accordance with the norms. In November last year, the Uttar Pradesh government attributed the deaths of "criminals" in police action in the state to the police acting in self-defence when attacked with firearms or lethal weapons and sought to deny insinuations that minority community members were being targeted.

According to a report, since the Uttar Pradesh government took charge in March 2017, there have been 2,351 shootouts and 63 encounter deaths, spread across 24 districts, until August 4, 2018.

The government has cited this as evidence of its resolve to clean up the state of crime and criminals. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said last year that the encounters will continue, adding that sympathy for criminals was dangerous for a democracy.

On at least one occasion, the NHRC rapped the state government over the encounter killings. In October last year, the rights body recommended that the Uttar Pradesh government pay Rs 5 lakh as relief to gym trainer Jitendra Yadav, who was allegedly shot at by police in a "fake encounter" in Noida early last year.

 

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