Encounters have been a controversial issue in India, with many people questioning their legality and ethics. In recent years, encounters have become a common method of dealing with criminals, especially in states ruled by the BJP. The encounters are often justified as necessary for maintaining law and order, but they have been criticized by many, including opposition leaders and human rights activists.
Asaduddin Owaisi, the president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), has been a vocal critic of encounters conducted in the name of religion. In his recent address at Nizamabad in Telangana, Owaisi questioned the BJP’s policy of conducting encounters, especially in cases where the accused belong to a particular religion.
Owaisi referred to the killing of Junaid and Naseer in Haryana, allegedly by cow vigilantes in February 2023, and questioned whether the government in power in Haryana would shoot at those who killed the two youth. He pointed out that encounters were often done by firing bullets and bulldozing houses, and questioned whether this was an appropriate response to criminal activities.
Asaduddin Owaisi also criticized the recent encounter of Atiq Ahmed’s son during an exchange of fire with the UP police. Owaisi stated that encounters such as this tore apart the rule of law and undermined the judiciary system. He emphasized that justice should be delivered through the courts, and not through extrajudicial means such as encounters.
Owaisi’s statements raise important questions about the ethics of encounters and their impact on the rule of law. Encounters, by their very nature, involve the use of force and can lead to the loss of life. While encounters may be necessary in some cases to maintain law and order, they should be carried out within the bounds of the law and should not be used as a tool to further political or religious agendas.
The Indian Constitution provides for the protection of human rights and the rule of law, and any action that undermines these principles is a cause for concern. The judiciary system plays a critical role in upholding these principles and ensuring that justice is delivered fairly and impartially. Encounters that bypass the judicial process can erode public confidence in the judiciary and weaken the rule of law.