Police Killings

Encounter killing is a term used in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka since the late 20th century to describe extrajudicial killings by the police or the armed forces, supposedly in self-defence, when they encounter suspected gangsters or terrorists in a shootout situation. Sometimes policemen are also killed by criminals in encounters.[1] Critics are sceptical of the police motivation behind many of these reported incidents,[2] and further complain that the wide acceptance of the practice has led to incidents of the police staging fake encounters to conceal the killing of suspects when they are either in custody or are unarmed or have surrendered.[3] These are also termed fake encounters.[4] In some cases, surrendered criminals are shot in the leg as an extrajudicial punishment, and these are called as half encounters.[5][6] In the 1990s and the mid-2000s, the Mumbai Police used encounter killings to attack the city's underworld, and the practice spread to other large cities. In Pakistan, the Sindh Police are notorious for extrajudicial killings through fake encounters especially in Karachi.[7] In the six years between 2016-’17 and 2021-’22, a case of encounter killing has registered once every three days in India, with 813 cases of encounter killings, according to National Human Rights Commission of India data. Further, there were no convictions of any officials in these six years.[8][9]

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