Government

Uttar Pradesh Police Kill Vikas Dubey in 'Encounter'

Police said the gangster tried to flee after a vehicle in the convoy taking him to Kanpur overturned.

New Delhi: Notorious gangster Vikas Dubey has been killed in an ‘encounter’. According to reports, a vehicle in the convoy that was taking him from Ujjain to Kanpur overturned on Friday morning. The gangster snatched a pistol from an injured policeman and fired at the police. The police retaliated, killing him.

The superintendent of police, Kanpur west, told reporters that the police party asked Dubey to surrender. The gangster refused and fired at the police party, after which the police opened retaliatory firing in which Dubey was injured. He was brought to a hospital, where he died. It is yet unclear if the gangster was dead on arrival at the hospital or died there.

Dubey, who has more than 60 cases registered against him, had killed eight police officers – including a deputy superintendent – in Bikru village of Kanpur on July 3. He was on the run for nearly week before his arrest at the Mahakal temple in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh on Thursday.

Five associates of the gangster were also killed by the Uttar Pradesh police in different encounters.

Because of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s stated policy to kill criminals in encounters, civil society organisations had expressed concern that the gangster could be ‘eliminated’. While some quarters have said the killing subverts the legal process, it is also being welcomed in other quarters.

Also Read: A Chronicle of the Crime Fiction That is Adityanath’s Encounter Raj

A petition had even been filed the day before in the Supreme Court, seeking security for the gangster. Lawyer Ghanshyam Upadhyay specifically stated in his petition that Dubey may be killed in an encounter.

Former top cop N.C. Asthana said the encounter confirms a ‘cover up’. On Thursday, he said that police are supposed to “secure their weapons by lanyards to prevent snatching” when in transit with suspects or prisoners. Dangerous criminals should also be handcuffed, he said.

Though he was involved in many crimes, Dubey is said to have had the backing of various political parties in the past two decades. His clout was evident in 2001, when he killed a BJP leader in a police station but Dubey was acquitted when all the witnesses in the police station turned hostile during the trial.

Movement of vehicles stopped

Aaj Tak has reported that just before the ‘encounter’, the movement of vehicles near the convoy was restricted, raising suspicion that the incident may have been staged.

A team from the channel had been following the convoy that was taking Dubey from Ujjain to Kanpur. According to the report, at around 6:32 am, the STF team entered Kanpur. All other vehicles were suddenly blocked by the police, who barricaded the road, the report said.

After the vehicle that the Aaj Tak reporters were in was checked, it was allowed to proceed. But by then, one vehicle in the convoy had already overturned and the ‘encounter’ had occurred, the report says. The team reached the spot at7:12 am, the report says.

Other reporters also suggested that the movement of vehicles was blocked before the encounter.

Opposition parties criticise the government

Opposition parties have criticised the encounter, saying the gangster was killed to protect politicians with whom he had collaborated. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said that the toppling of the government was prevented by silence Dubey and the ‘secrets’ he held.

Priyanka Gandhi, the Congress in-charge for UP, said the ‘criminal has been killed’ but those who protected him are still safe.

Gangster’s son, wife arrested

Hours after the gangster’s arrest in Ujjain, Dubey’s wife, son and a staffer were also apprehended by the Uttar Pradesh STF in Lucknow on Thursday evening. Richa Dubey was arrested from her Krishna Nagar residence on Thursday evening by a team of the Special Task Force (STF) on charges of harbouring the gangster and conniving with him.

“Vikas Dubey’s wife is being questioned to elicit information about the facts relating to the events involving ambush of the police team in Kanpur, a police spokesman said.

She is allegedly part of the conspiracy that led to the killing of eight policemen at Bikru village.