Gangster Vikas killed while fleeing, cops’ version questioned
Notorious gangster Vikas Dubey was killed in an encounter by the Uttar Pradesh Police on Friday morning after the vehicle carrying him from Ujjain to Kanpur — almost 700 km — met with an accident and he tried to escape from the spot in Bhauti area, a senior police official said.
The Madhya Pradesh Police had arrested Dubey outside the Mahakal temple in Ujjain on Thursday morning. He was handed over to an UP Police team late in the evening.
The Uttar Pradesh STF on Friday said the official vehicle in which gangster Vikas Dubey was being brought to Kanpur overturned when a herd of cattle suddenly came in front of it. According to a statement released by the STF, Dubey was being brought to Kanpur from Ujjain for appearance in a local court when the vehicle in which he was coming overturned after a herd of cattle suddenly came in front of it.
Police said the gangster snatched a pistol from one of the policemen injured in the accident and was shot when he opened fire while trying to flee, an account being questioned by Opposition parties. Six policemen, including two from the STF, were hurt in the accident and the exchange of fire around 6 am, an official said.
Dubey was the sixth man to die in a police encounter after the ambush he masterminded in Kanpur’s Bikru village past midnight on July 2, killing eight policemen who had come to arrest him.
Questions were being raised over the police version, challenging the account of the attempted escape of a gangster who had made no attempt to flee when nabbed near Ujjain’s Mahakal temple a day earlier.
There was also some scepticism over the possibility of someone managing to snatch a policeman’s weapon and then extricating himself from an overturned vehicle.
There were allegations that the media trailing the police convoy was stopped for a few minutes before the encounter. Unverified video clips show Dubey sitting in a different car when the convoy set out from Ujjain. Police said the media was stopped for checking.
However, the encounter killing of Dubey drew divergent reactions from retired and serving personnel, with a former Uttar Pradesh Police chief saying the STF should have ensured his safety as his interrogation would have exposed several names who colluded with him and protected him.
Some said the encounter is reminiscent of a similar incident in which four people, accused of rape and murder of a veterinary doctor, had met a similar fate in Hyderabad in December 2019.
Kanpur Range Inspector General Mohit Agarwal said Dubey fled from the car with an injured policeman’s pistol.
He was chased and surrounded by policemen and was asked to surrender. When he started firing with an “intention to kill”, police opened fire in self-defence, Kanpur police said.
A Press release said he was immediately taken to a hospital, where he died during treatment.
Ganesh Shankar Vidhyarthi Medical College principal Dr R B Kamal said he was brought dead to the hospital. “Dubey sustained four bullet injuries, three in the chest and one in the hand,” he told reporters. Two policemen also suffered wounds, one in the arm and the other in the hand.
Dubey’s post-mortem will be conducted by a panel of doctors. He had tested negative for coronavirus, the doctor said.
Hours before the encounter, an advocate had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Uttar Pradesh Government and police to ensure that he is not killed.
Uttar Pradesh’s Inspector General (Civil Defence) Amitabh Thakur had also apprehended the possibility of Dubey’s death, a day before it happened.
“Dubey has surrendered. It is possible he might try to escape from the custody of the UP police tomorrow and get killed. With this, the Vikas Dubey chapter will end,” he had tweeted in Hindi.
Eight policemen, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Mishra, had died in a hail of bullets from the rooftops in Dubey’s Bikru village in Chaubeypur area of Kanpur on July 3.
Police suspect that Dubey, who faced about 60 criminal cases over the past several years, was tipped off by someone from Chaubeypur station that a team was heading out to arrest him.
Dubey was also alleged to have links with politicians. Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said of the 21 people named in the FIR registered after the Bikru ambush, six are now dead and three arrested.
Seven others were also arrested in connection with the same crime.
Twelve people, carrying rewards for their arrest, are absconding, he said. On the day the Bikru ambush took place, two of Dubey’s alleged accomplices, Prem Prakash Pandey and Atul Dubey, were killed in an encounter with police in Kanpur district.
On July 8, police killed another aide, Amar Dubey, in Maudaha village in Hamirpur district.
Two more alleged accomplices were killed in Kanpur and Etawah districts on Thursday. One of them, Prabhat, died in circumstances similar to Dubey’s killing, according to the police versions.
He was being brought to Kanpur on transit remand after his arrest in Faridabad when he snatched the pistol of a policeman and tried to flee, police had said.
Saturday, 11 July 2020 | PNS | Lucknow
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