Shocked by total collapse of law & order in UP: Mamata

Banerjee claimed that criminals are now taking the law into their own hands, unfazed by the presence of police and media and termed it as a "shameful" act.

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday expressed her shock at what she termed as collapse of law and order in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state.

The chief minister was reacting to the killing of gangster-politician Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf Ahmad at Prayagraj in U.P by gunmen while they were being escorted by a strong police posse for medical examination.

Banerjee claimed that criminals are now taking the law into their own hands, unfazed by the presence of police and media and termed it as a “shameful” act.

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“I am shocked by the brazen anarchy and total collapse of law and order in Uttar Pradesh. It is shameful that criminals are now taking the law into their own hands, unfazed by the police and media presence,” Banerjee tweeted.

While the CPI(M) and Congress’s Bengal unit came out with similar statements, the BJP attacked the chief minister asking her to look into her government’s own records.

WBPCC President Adhir Choudhury, termed the shooting as a “cold-blooded murder”.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had earlier in the day said in a tweet there are courts to ensure that criminals get the harshest punishment but “playing with law and order only gives birth to anarchy”.

In a statement, CPI(M) similarly said the killing of the duo, while in police custody and in front of the media, shows that Uttar Pradesh has become a completely “lawless state”.

“The manner in which two men were murdered in the presence of heavy police escort points towards official connivance. This must be seen in the background of the repeated spate of encounter killings which are nothing but extra judicial murders,” the party said.

Countering Banerjee, BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said “TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee should hold the mirror to herself and introspect about the track record of the ruling party and administration in protecting lives of those who criticise their regime”.

“Rather than turning to UP, let Mamata Banerjee explain why 55 BJP activists had been killed by TMC miscreants in past two years after she (Mamata Banerjee) returned to power,” Bhattacharya claimed.

About the U.P incident, he said the BJP government there has already taken steps to address the situation and the assailants have been apprehended.

The two brothers were shot dead at point-blank range by men posing as journalists in the middle of an impromptu media interaction on Saturday night while police personnel were escorting them to a medical college here for a check-up.

Police patrolling was intensified on Sunday in Prayagraj’s Chakiya area where gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad’s house is located even as the Uttar Pradesh police tightened security across the state.

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