The Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday suspended a police officer who allegedly warned an under-trial of an encounter being planned to kill him, The Telegraph reported.

In an unverified audio clip released on Saturday, Station House Officer Suneet Kumar Singh is purportedly heard advising a man to speak with certain Bharatiya Janata Party leaders to save himself. He also purportedly says that everybody from “top to bottom” is now complicit in encounters to kill criminals.

Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh said it was “totally wrong to say that the police and the BJP are fixing encounters”. “We have ordered an inquiry, and the police officer has already been suspended,” he told NDTV.

“The season of encounters is on,” a voice purportedly of the officer is heard telling under-trial Lekhraj Singh Yadav in the audio clip. “Your mobile number is under surveillance and you will be killed soon. Manage the Babina MLA and the BJP district president if you want to save yourself.”

The voice further says: “We are the biggest criminals. I have killed many people and thrown them away. In the last 14 years, how many encounters have happened? But now there is a system. Top officers, special forces and almost everybody from top to bottom is on it.”

Yadav is an accused in several murder and extortion cases and is out on bail. He released the audio clip a day after the conversation with Suneet Kumar Singh, who is posted at Mauranipur in Jhansi district. The clip has been sent for forensic examination.

Babina legislator Rajeev Singh Parichha and Jhansi BJP President Sanjay Dubey denied interfering in encounter killings in Uttar Pradesh.

Dozens of criminals have been killed in controversial encounters in the state since the BJP came to power in 2017. Chief Minister Adityanath had earlier said that criminals “who want to disturb peace of the society and believe in the gun should be given an answer in the language of the gun itself”.

In November 2017, the National Human Rights Commission had sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over Adityanath’s alleged endorsement of encounter killings in the state.