The “encounter” of gangster Vikas Dubey before he could reach the court or face sustained interrogation has buried secrets of his political patronage over the years and his deep connections in the Uttar Pradesh Police.

The Samajwadi Party and the ruling BJP have traded allegations in the past week claiming Dubey was backed by the other party. His six-day flight from law across four states after allegedly killing eight UP policemen and a virtual surrender on his own terms in Ujjain by removing his mask to enable his identification at Mahakaleshwar temple has also raised questions over whether he was tipped off from inside about the police moves to search for him. Two junior policemen were arrested in UP for the their links with Dubey but no senior officer has been acted against so far.

The “encounter” raises questions, as did the “encounters” of five other members of his gang. One, the police chose to bring him back by road from Ujjain to Kanpur, instead of flying him down, without taking his transit remand from the Ujjain court. He was not handcuffed en route. TV crews chasing the police cavalcade from Ujjain were prevented from doing so and were stopped on the highway 15 minutes before the encounter.

While Dubey was spotted travelling till half an hour before the encounter in a Tata sports utility vehicle, the police later said he was present in a different car in the cavalcade which overturned. Dubey was fatally shot thrice on his upper body in what was cited as a bid to escape. The same modus operandi was cited to explain the killing of Dubey’s aide Prabhat Mishra on Tuesday when he was being brought from Faridabad to Kanpur and the police car “broke down”.

Opposition parties raised questions over the “encounter” and levelled allegations of a cover-up. SP chief and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said Dubey’s call detail records of the past five years should be made public to expose his backers. The “encounter”, he said, was staged to save the Yogi Adityanath government from toppling. He said neither Dubey nor his wife Richa had any connection with the SP and pointed to Dubey’s own admission from 2017 that two BJP MLAs were his backers. . BSP chief Mayawati and Congress general Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into Dubey’s killing.

The state government, however, pointed to celebrations in Kanpur and satisfaction and faith in the CM expressed by the families of the deceased policemen to claim wide public support over the “encounter”.




News Source: Economic Times


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