New Delhi: The three-member commission inquiring into the Uttar Pradesh police’s killing of gangster Vikas Dubey said there is no evidence to suggest that the encounter was staged, lamenting that witnesses did not come forward to challenge the police claim.
The commission is headed by former Supreme Court judge B.S. Chauhan and has as its members former Allahabad high court judge Sashi Kant Agrawal and former UP director general of police K.L. Gupta.
According to reports, the panel submitted its report to the state government on Monday, eight months after it was set up. “Yes, the commission has submitted its report to the state government on Monday. A copy of the report will be submitted in the Supreme court also,” Gupta told news agency PTI.
He, however, did not elaborate on the contents of the report.
The commission was set up in July last year, after Dubey and five of his associates were killed in encounters with the UP police. The series of events that culminated with Dubey’s death on July 10 began on July 3, 2020, when eight policemen were killed in an ambush in Bikru village in Chaubeypur area of Kanpur. They were on their way to arrest Vikas Dubey.
Police later killed Prem Prakash Pandey (55) and Atul Dubey (35) in an encounter in Kanpur on July 3. On July 8, Amar Dubey (30), who carried a reward of Rs 50,000 on him, was killed in an encounter in Maudaha village in Hamirpur district.
On July 9, Praveen Dubey, alias Bauwa (48), and Prabhat, alias Kartikeya (28), were killed in separate encounters in Etawah and Kanpur districts.
Six PILs were filed in the Supreme Court after Dubey’s encounter, seeking a court-monitored probe into the encounter killings. The apex court had on July 22, 2020 approved the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to institute the inquiry commission.
According to NDTV, the report says there is “no material evidence” to challenge the police’s version of the encounter but there is “sufficient material” to support it.
“We did our best to collect evidence, asking the public and media to give their version. The media carried so many stories against the UP police but none gave any evidence,” sources told NDTV. The report, indeed, blames the “non-participation by citizenry and media” for defeating the purpose of establishing the commission.
According to reports, Vikas Dubey’s wife or family members also did not provide any evidence to challenge the police’s claims.
Speaking to PTI, a senior police official said, “No witnesses came forward to challenge the police claims even after advertisements in newspapers and media. Also, no one from the media came forward to get their versions recorded.”
There were, however, witnesses supporting the police version, he added.
(With PTI inputs)