The hard times for the Uttar Pradesh police just don’t seem to end any time soon. After being criticised for allegedly tampering the evidence in Unnao rape case, the links between the Jhansi police and the criminals have recently drawn the attention of the media. In an 8-minute audio clip, the station house officer (SHO) of Mauranipur police station, Sunit Kumar Singh, allegedly told a local criminal, Lekhraj Yadav, that his name tops the encounter list handed over to him. In the audio conversation, SHO says that if he wants to live, he should manage the local BJP leaders in order to get his name out of the list. Yadav is a local criminal who is accused of dozens of murder, kidnapping and extortion cases.

Lekhraj Yadav who is currently on bail has released the audio clip to the media on Friday. The same day, Yadav had managed to escape a police encounter. After the audio clip went viral, the SHO of Mauranipur was suspended and the clip was sent for forensic examination. Reports suggest that Yadav had called the policeman after he heard the rumours of him being gunned down in a planned encounter. In the audio clip, the SHO was heard advising the criminal that he cannot take him off the encounter list. He further advised him to strike a deal with ‘Babina lawmaker Rajiv Singh Paricha and Sanjay Dubey, BJP’s District President.’

Meanwhile, after the reports surfaced, Rajiv Singh Paricha, expressed his shock stating that he had no clue why the SHO took his name. He said, “The police officer and I have never spoken. Why would he drag me into this? However, this conversation shows that criminals are scared of the government’s resolve to eliminate crime in the state.” In the audio clip, the UP cop is also heard saying that Yadav has around 60 criminal cases against him and that makes him a suitable candidate for the encounter list. As per reports, he also advised him that he is a smart man and people like him understand the ‘system’ and act accordingly before the time runs out.

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Going by the reports, SHO had allegedly told Yadav that he is next. He further added, “In the last 14 years, how many encounters have happened? But now there is a system… top officers, Special Forces and almost everybody from top to bottom are on it…” Soon after the matter was reported, the opposition party in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party, attacked the ruling government claiming that this has been happening across the state.

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