Up Encounter:- In recent times, Bihar politics has been in the news for various reasons. From the reunion of the Janata Dal (United) (JDU) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) to the ongoing power struggle between the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, and the RJD MLA Sudhakar Singh, politics in Bihar is always a topic of discussion.
Up Encounters is a controversial police strategy in Uttar Pradesh, India. While some view it as an effective means of curbing crime, others criticize it as a violation of human rights. The Uttar Pradesh government, led by Yogi Adityanath, has reported over 10,000 encounters between police and alleged criminals in the past six years.
The recent killing of Atiq Ahmad’s son and his associate in an Up Encounter has once again brought the issue to the forefront of public debate.
Bihar has always been known for its caste-based politics, with politicians using caste as a tool to gain power. The recent reunion of JDU and RJD has further highlighted the relevance of caste in Bihar’s politics.
Here is a list of some of the recent prominent encounters in the state under CM Yogi Adityanath’s rule:
Up Encounter 1: Gangster Vikas Dubey
Gangster Vikas Dubey was killed in an encounter in Kanpur on July 10, 2020. The encounter broke out after a police vehicle carrying Dubey from Ujjain to Kanpur overturned, and the gangster allegedly attempted to escape.
Up Encounter 2: Asad Ahmed and His Accomplice
On Friday, the Uttar Pradesh Police claimed to have gunned down 183 alleged criminals in encounters in the six years of Yogi Adityanath’s government, and this included gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad’s son Asad and his accomplice, who was killed in an exchange of fire in Jhansi.
Up Encounter 3: Channu Sonkar
History-sheeter Channu Sonkar became, in Azamgarh, the 30th person killed by UP police in encounters in less than ten months since March 20, 2017, when the current government took over.
Up Encounter 4: Asad Ahmed and his Aide
Encounter Number 183 is the killing of Asad Ahmed, who is gangster Atiq Ahmed’s son, and his aide, since the Yogi Adityanath Government first took charge in March 2017. After February 24 murder of Umesh Pal, the police have encountered three people related to this. It is also the third encounter in the first 13 days of April by the Uttar Pradesh police.
The Reunion of JDU and RJD
The reunion of the JDU and RJD in Bihar has created a lot of buzz in political circles. The coalition formed the government in Bihar for the second time on August 10, 2023, a day after the JDU severed ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government. This reunion has put caste-based politics back in focus in Bihar.
The state of Uttar Pradesh has been in the news recently due to the increasing number of Up Encounters between the police and alleged criminals. While some see this as a necessary strategy to curb crime, others criticize it as a violation of human rights.
The Sudhakar Singh Controversy
Sudhakar Singh, an RJD MLA, has been in the news for his repeated attacks on the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath. Singh’s statements have created a lot of controversies and have brought to light the ongoing power play between the two politicians.
Recently, Singh attacked Adityanath again, saying, “Yogi Adityanath is a power-hungry politician who is using the police force to eliminate his political rivals”. This statement has created a lot of uproars, with both the ruling party and the opposition condemning it.
Singh’s attacks on Adityanath are not new. In the past, he has also accused him of corruption and misuse of power. This ongoing power struggle has once again highlighted the relevance of caste-based politics in Bihar.
The Importance of Caste-Based Politics in Bihar
Caste has always played a crucial role in Bihar’s politics. Politicians have used caste as a tool to gain power and consolidate their vote banks. Caste-based politics has created deep fault lines in society, with people identifying more with their caste than with their political ideology.
The reunion of the JDU and RJD has once again put caste-based politics in focus. Both parties have a strong base among the backward castes and are trying to consolidate their vote banks. The power struggle between Adityanath and Singh has also highlighted the relevance of caste in politics.
Early Life and Political Career
Lalu Prasad Yadav was born on June 11, 1948, in Phulwaria, near Gopalganj, Bihar. He started his political career in the 1970s as a student leader and gradually rose through the ranks of the Janata Dal party. In 1990, he became the Chief Minister of Bihar, after leading a coalition of parties to victory in the state assembly elections.
Up Encounter Rise to Power
Lalu’s tenure as CM was marked by his populist appeal and his ability to mobilize the lower castes and Muslims in Bihar. He championed social justice and equality, and his government introduced a number of policies aimed at empowering the marginalized sections of society. His slogan “Jab tak samosa mein aloo hai, tab tak Bihar mein Lalu hai” (As long as there are potatoes in the samosas, Lalu will be in Bihar) became synonymous with his larger-than-life persona.
Muscle-Man and Up Encounter Gangster ‘Samrat’
However, behind the populist rhetoric and the political maneuvers, there was a darker side to Lalu’s reign. He was accused of protecting and promoting Up Encounter criminal elements in the state and using them for his own political gain. One such figure was Mohammad Shahabuddin, a notorious gangster, and politician who was known as the “Samrat” of Siwan. Shahabuddin was widely believed to have been protected by Lalu’s government and was even elected to the state assembly while he was in jail.
Up Encounter & Bihar, politics has always been known for its caste-based politics. The reunion of the JDU and RJD and the ongoing power struggle between Adityanath and Singh have once again brought the relevance of caste-based politics to the forefront.