New Delhi, 4 Nov: In its monthly press meet Jamaat-e-Islami Hind today expressed concern on the recent police encounters in Uttar Pradesh. Briefing the media, JIH Secretary General Muhammad Salim Engineer said that: ‘’ We are highly disturbed at media reports stating that the UP police have conducted 431 encounters with alleged criminals and killed 17. These encounters have taken place in less than six months of the present Uttar Pradesh government coming to power. This tendency to gauge improvement in law and order by the number of police encounters is quite worrying especially if the police officers are doing so under political pressure. The mentality to control crime by resorting to extrajudicial killings is not healthy for any democracy and the unprecedented number of encounters gives rise to the apprehension that some of them may be fake and used as an excuse to eliminate suspects and hostile elements coming under the police dragnet. Jamaat demands that the NHRC take cognizance of these disturbing and unprecedented numbers of encounters in Uttar Pradesh and carry out the necessary investigation to allay fears of human rights violation under the guise of reducing crime in the state’’. The press meet was addressed by JIH President Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari. Replying to queries from the media about the efforts of Sri Sri Ravishankar to intervene in Babri Masjid issue, Maulana Umari reiterated that Jamaat and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board rejects any out of court settlement and only the court judgment would be acceptable. Regarding the possibility of another Muslim organization – the Popular Front of India (PFI) being banned very shortly by the Government of India, the JIH General Secretary said: “we are against this propensity to ban legitimate organizations. If someone has broken the law then he or she should be punished but outlawing the entire organization is unacceptable”. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind leadership while commenting on the Hadiya case said: “We hope Hadiya will get justice and freedom and the Hon’ble Courts will restore her fundamental right to choose the religion of her choice and also marry on her own free will, as she has already attained the age of majority”.