The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and the state's police chief over reports that a man was allegedly shot at in Noida by a police staff, who told his colleague that the 'encounter' would earn him an "out-of-turn promotion".
"However, reportedly, Noida Police has denied receiving any message of an encounter," the National Human Rights Commission said in a statement on Monday.
The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports that 25-year-old Jitendra Yadav, a gym trainer, was allegedly shot at in Noida by a sub-inspector of Uttar Pradesh Police on the night of February 3, and told his colleague that the encounter would earn him an out-of-turn promotion, it said.
Yadav was admitted to a hospital and is in the ICU. The sub-inspector has been arrested and suspended along with three others.
"It seems that the police personnel in Uttar Pradesh are feeling free, misusing their power in the light of an undeclared endorsement given by the higher-ups," the statement issued by the NHRC said, adding that the police are using their privileges to "settle scores" with the people.
Accordingly, the commission has issued a notice to the chief secretary and the director general of police of the state to look into the emerging scenario personally and to take appropriate action to sensitise the police personnel not to "abuse their power to harass innocent citizens".
A detailed report on the matter from both of them is expected within six weeks, it said.
"Creating an atmosphere of fear is not the correct way to deal with the crime. In this particular case, the injured man is not an offender. He was travelling with his friends when the rowdy act done by the delinquent SI has gravely violated his right to life and liberty," the rights panel said.
The Commission noted that it has already expressed concern while taking suo motu cognisance of media reports on November 22, 2017, about the government of Uttar Pradesh, allegedly endorsing killings encounters by police, seeking improvement in law and order situation.
The NHRC said the chief minister was quoted, in a newspaper on November 19, 2017, as saying that "criminals will be jailed or killed in encounters".