There is fear in the lawless badlands of Uttar Pradesh. The goons there, known for their cold-blooded murders, are trembling. The man they fear is the chief minister, Yogi Adityanath.
After the Yogi Adityanath government's started a sustained crackdown on criminals in Uttar Pradesh, the goons are feeling the heat: they have become the hunted, from the hunters.
In a reflection of the change that the chief minister has managed to induce in the heart of lawless Uttar Pradesh, Kairana town recently saw two goons marching down a street holding a placard, pleading for forgivenness.
They also pledged that they will earn their living through fair means. The duo were identified by the police as Salim Ali and Irshad Ahmad, the Financial Express reported. They stand accused in several cases of loot and murder, and were only recently out on bail.
Ali and Ahmad have also submitted an affidavit to the Shamli superintendent of police Ajay Pal Sharma that "they won't be indulging in any criminal activities henceforth."
Goons in UP don't want to be hunted down
Ali, who has several cases against him, pleaded that he wanted to lead a better life and get away from crime. He asserted that even though there are several cases against him and Ahmad at the Kairana and Shamli police stations in UP, they don't want to be hunted down as other criminals.
Kairana police station house officer hailed the step by the two goons and said, "The criminals pledge is a clear indication that they fear the police. A close watch will be kept on them (Ali and Ahmad)."
Uttar Pradesh has witnessed several encounters between cops and the goons/criminals in the past few months. Since saffron-robed Yogi Adityanath has taken charge as state Chief Minister last year and pledged to bring the fear of the law into the hearts of UP's notorious criminals, there have been more than 30 encounter killings by the police in 10 months.
Also, since last March till January 2018, reports say that the state recorded over 1,100 encounters and the total number of arrests made during this time were around 2,000.
Recently, an 8-year-old boy, Madhav Bhardwaj, got hit by a bullet and died in a crossfire between police and criminals in Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier this week, while addressing BJP cadres in Tripura, Adityanath had said, "Law and order in Uttar Pradesh is under control. Crimes against women are minimal. No riots have been reported in the 10 months rule of BJP. No curfew has been imposed in the state."
Adityanath exuded confidence that his party could wrest power from the Left Democratic Front in Tripura in the upcoming polls. "The lotus will bloom in Tripura this year. The people of the state are angry with the government and the BJP is getting a massive support. Only the CPI(M) workers get the benefits of government policies in Tripura. In this condition, development is very difficult," Yogi was quoted as saying DailyO.