Uttar Pradesh under the Yogi Adityanath government has developed a name for itself for having a no-nonsense approach when it comes to dealing with criminals. Long are the days gone when the state used to be a safe haven for the criminals as nowadays, criminals are either fleeing the state or surrendering out of fear. Shakti Naidu, one of Delhi’s most wanted criminals did the grave mistake of escaping Delhi and coming to Uttar Pradesh. When the UP Police decided to nab him, a shootout took place in Meerut where Naidu succumbed to his injuries.
Shakti Naidu who was planning to assassinate ACP Special Cell Officer Lalit Mohan Negi as he had slapped the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) on Naidu and others in connection with a Rs 7.8 crore dacoity in Lajpat Nagar in 2014 decided to escape Delhi after murdering his own gang member, Honey for refusing to murder Lalit Negi. “Naidu had been on police surveillance since the intra-gang shootout, in which one of his aides was killed and another injured. We tracked him down to Vaishno Dham’s Arc City Colony through an informer’s tip. The accused fired at us after being spotted and tried to escape. At one point, the accused and police were face to face, exchanging fire. Naidu was injured and later succumbed to injuries. A policeman was also injured,” said SSP (Meerut) Ajay Pal Sahni.
According to police, they began checking Arc Colony for suspicious activities after Naidu was spotted in a Fortuner, which was stolen by him earlier from Meerut. After an initial round of firing, local police informed senior officers and a perimeter was set up close to the colony. Naidu was armed with several rounds of ammunition, and a 9 mm carbine and 12 mm double barrel rifle were recovered from his possession.
After Naidu shot dead Honey and injured gang member Tilak Raj, the latter had, in a video, alleged that a plan was being hatched to assassinate ACP Special Cell Lalit Mohan Negi. Raj had further said Naidu was suspicious that his gang members might leak this information to police.
Shakti Naidu who has several cases pending against him in Delhi was out on parole. He was arrested in 2002 for a bank robbery case and Naidu even during his stay in Tihar jail was actively recruiting gang members and even recruited juveniles in a bid to not face the full wrath of the law if caught. “Following his directions, four juveniles had barged into a court room in Karkardooma and tried to kill a notorious gangster, Irfan alias Cheenu. But they ended up killing a constable instead,” said the officer.
Naidu is just one of the numerous criminals who has faced the wrath of UP Police. According to reports, the fear of UP Police is compelling dreaded gangsters to flee to Delhi and Haryana. Udhar mat jao, maar diye jaaoge” (do not venture there (in UP) you will be killed in a police encounter). The phone conversation between two Delhi-based gangster recorded by the police speaks volumes about the fear and efficiency of the UP Police. In Meerut, where Naidu was shot dead, more than 57 gangster have been killed and a record 817 have been seriously injured in police encounters since July 15, 2017.
The Additional Director General of Police (in-charge of Meerut and Saharanpur range) Prashant Kumar says incidents of loot and murder, the two important parameters of heinous crimes, have come down by 20 per cent in his zone. “In the past two years, Meerut and Saharanpur range (which also includes crime-prone cities such as Noida, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and Muzaffarnagar), is witness to more than 1,500 encounters. The encounter strategy has frightened hardened criminals who have fled their area of operation. Others have surrendered in courts. Fear psychosis works in criminals too,” said the ADG, adding, “our rule is simple. If a gangster tries to bully, he will be retaliated. If he tries to pull the trigger (of a gun), he will not be spared.”
The UP Police must be commended for employing a no-nonsense attitude when it comes to dealing with criminals.