It’s over!… But is it really? The question remains and only time will tell…
Vikas Dubey, who emerged as the most dreaded gangster last Friday, went silent just after seven days but not before creating some dramatic scenes in North India.
Uttar Pradesh’s most wanted gangster and the main accused in the killing of eight policemen in Kanpur on July 3, Vikas Dubey died on Friday after he was shot dead by the Uttar Pradesh Police in an encounter as he allegedly tried to flee while being taken to Kanpur.
In a neatly designed, yet suspicious script, the Special Task Force (STF) has claimed that the vehicle in which Vikas Dubey was being taken, one of the three in the convoy, overturned after skidding off the road due to heavy rain following which the gangster allegedly snatched a pistol from an injured cop and attempted to flee.The rest of the police team caught up with him and ordered him to surrender; but he refused and opened fire at the policemen inviting retaliatory action in which he got killed.
Now, this is what the police claim.
However, questions have abounded over the Vikas Dubey story.
Firstly, it is quite hard to believe that the gangster tried to escape from police custody since he himself had surrendered a day before, although it appeared to be his game plan.
Dubey, who remained elusive for the police for almost six days following the Kanpur encounter, appears out of nowhere only to identify himself to a security personnel at Mahakaal Mandir in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain on Thursday morning.
Interestingly, after being caught, the gangster was seen shouting and identifying himself as “Main Vikas Dubey Kanpur wala” even as cops asked him to stay quiet while whisking him into a vehicle.
This comes when as many as 40 teams of Uttar Pradesh Police and the STF had been on a massive hunt for the dreaded gangster since the Kanpur encounter. And what more, borders of the state were sealed and frantic searches were carried out on the highways while Vikas Dubey remained holed up for two days after the cops’ killing at a relative’s house in Kanpur.
He then managed to reach Faridabad near Delhi, where he was caught on a CCTV camera of a hotel but yet again gave the police a slip.
Even as the police were on his heels, he managed to get to Madhya Pradesh and then Ujjain — covering a distance of about 200 km seemingly without attracting police attention — where he revealed himself and got arrested.
Now, amid all his epic escape stories, many of his accomplices, at least five, got killed. This must have triggered the master plan to avoid an encounter by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
The opposition Congress as well as some retired police officials have termed the dramatic surrender as well as the arrest as pre-planned and dubious. Vikas had successfully eluded the police in three states for one week and it is rather unusual that he would enter a temple without a mask and get arrested.
It appeared as if he wanted to surrender in a safe state.
The Congress has alluded to involvement of home minister Narottam Mishra in the “surrender drama” by pointing out the fact that the powerful Brahmin leader of Madhya Pradesh was BJP in charge of Kanpur region in the 2017 assembly election in Uttar Pradesh.
Dubey, who ventured into the world of crime in the 90s’, reportedly had good contacts in the police department and was also close to some political leaders. He used to be addressed as “Pandit” in political and police circles.
In one of the most sensational and barbaric incidents, eight Uttar Pradesh Police personnel were shot dead and at least seven others seriously injured including a civilian as they went to arrest local criminal Vikas Dubey and his gang in the wee hours of July 3.
The incident had led to national outrage and cast aspersions on the Yogi Adityanath government and the state police force.
The gangster was allegedly informed about the raid beforehand. It is learnt that Vikas Dubey had received a tip-off from the police station about the impending raid after which he prepared for the attack on cops.
A letter, purportedly written by slain circle officer Devendra Mishra, also mentioned how the Chaubeypur station officer was trying to shield the gangster.
Vikas Dubey was a kind of a “Robinhood” for his Bikru village and had many supporters. An eerie silence descended on his village after the news of his arrest and people refused to comment on the development and the villagers closed their doors on media persons.
However, a criminal is a criminal by law and there’s no denying that.
Now, after his death, the mystery further deepens as videos have emerged that not long before the encounter, the police had stopped media vehicles from following at one point.
Media persons, who were following the convoy bringing back gangster Vikas Dubey, were stopped by police in Sachendi area of Kanpur before the encounter around 6.30 am, in which he got killed.
As investigations heated up following the Kanpur encounter, Vikas Dubey, who was till then a relatively unknown name, grabbed the headlines for political connections. His photographs with top political leaders across the political spectrum added to the uneasiness of the people in power and in the opposition. As per probe reports, the gangster had amassed wealth and property through deals in real estate, liquor business and contracts.
Now with his killing, the STF as well as the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments have a lot to answer for.
It is also in question as to why and how, besides the explanation given by the police, that the exact vehicle, in which Dubey was being taken, overturned on the highway.
The STF which has killed five accomplices of Vikas Dubey in the past seven days, has put out a strikingly similar theory for all the encounters – “We asked them to surrender but they opened fire and were killed in retaliatory action”.
The whole saga has been no less than any Bollywood action-thriller and seems to have come to an end. Yet, questions and doubts remain.