By Riyaz ul Khaliq
The UN human rights body's experts expressed “alarm” over alleged 59 extra-judicial killings by police in
The UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) said in a statement on Friday that its experts have written a letter to the government of India on 15 of the cases in Uttar Pradesh since March 2017.
"We are extremely concerned about the pattern of events: individuals allegedly being abducted or arrested before their killing, and their bodies bearing injuries indicative of torture," the UN experts said in the statement.
In 2017, according to the Wire, an Indian media outlet, at least 420 encounters were conducted that left 15 people dead in the six months of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government.
By 2018, the police had conducted 1,038 encounters in which 32 were killed, the media outlet added.
The Indian Supreme Court is slated to hear several of such fake encounter cases on Monday.
The OHCHR noted that they have also received reports that family members of victims and human rights defenders working on the cases have been harassed from police and had false criminal cases brought against them.
“Family members of victims and human rights defenders must also be protected from reprisals, and threats and harassment against them investigated,” it said.
Calling for an “urgent review” of the use of force by the state police, the OHCHR said they are yet to receive a response to their letter from the Indian government.
The UN experts also said the local police did not follow its Supreme Court’s guidelines on investigations.
"We have also received allegations of corruption including the police demanding money to release the victim prior to the killing," the experts said in the statement.