Five members of an Uttar Pradesh police SWAT team have been transferred for showing off their official guns in a self-promotion video shared by one of the cops on his Facebook profile. An inquiry has been ordered against them.
The two-minute video, uploaded on the Facebook page of the police inspector who heads the special operations group in UP's Basti, shows the team walking in slow motion in a field, flashing their guns; a Haryanvi song plays in the background.
Reacting to the video, the UP police said on their Twitter page that they didn't sanction the "unprofessional display of weapons".
"Regarding a viral video of SWAT team of Basti Police, DGP UP OP Singh has directed SP Basti to transfer entire SWAT team to police lines and get the matter enquired by CO city. We do not sanction unprofessional display of weapons and grotesque caricaturing of Police," the tweet read.
At least 100 people have been killed in encounters by the UP police since Yogi Adityanath took over as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister in 2017. His government had come under severe criticism from the opposition over the encounters.
Both Yogi Adityanath and the police chief have defended the encounters.
Last year, UP police chief OP Singh had said the encounters were part of a strategy to arrest hardened criminals.
"Encounters are part of crime prevention. The fact is that this is a not a state policy, but a police strategy. We do not call it encounter but police engagement. We are engaged with the criminals in a very professional and strategic manner," he had told news agency PTI.
Investigations carried out by independent organisations, including NDTV, have raised questions on the way UP police handled these encounters.