Opinion divided among cops, activists over Vikas Dubey encounter killing
Lucknow: The encounter killing of gangster Vikas Dubey Friday 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.
Dubey was killed in the encounter after a police vehicle carrying him from Ujjain to Kanpur – a distance of almost 700 km — met with an accident and he tried to escape from the spot in Bhauti area, a senior police official said.
Prakash Singh, an ex-UP Director General of Police, said he was “really surprised and disappointed that an encounter should have taken place”.
“…because if this man was interrogated, he would have disclosed the names of all those who were colluding with him, helping him, financing him and protecting him,” he told a TV channel.
“I think the entire network could be exposed and police would be able to take action against all of them. I do not know the circumstances under which this happened,” he said.
But former UP DGP, KL Gupta disagreed.
“On the face value, we should accept what police are saying. Why we always start with negativity and dub police wrong. Encounters are not done, they happen,” he told PTI.
He said Dubey was facing over 60 cases against him. “He knew the law and also how to abuse it…why he was out of jail for years? His stay out of jail would have meant that he would commit more crime.”
When asked as to what he felt about the nature of the encounter after watching the visuals from the spot, Gupta said, “Accidents are not abnormal. They do happen. He was being brought from Ujjan and the driver might be tired. In this (rainy) season, such mishaps do happen.”
“We should not be judgemental. This is not the end but a start,” he said.
“There is the NHRC (National Human Rights Commission). Magisterial probe of encounters are done. Magistrates are not under police. If there is something wrong, the magistrate can order an FIR. Policemen have gone to jail in the past in fake encounter cases,” the former DGP said.
“Only three per cent people in our society are criminals. Let, the rest 97 per cent come forward and stand against them,” he stressed.
Social activist Dr Nutan Thakur sent a complaint to the NHRC, alleging illegalities on the part of the UP Police.
“Dubey’s acts were extremely condemnable, but at the same time what the police have done is equally deplorable,” she said in her letter.
She said there were allegations that Dubey’s relatives — Prem Prakash Pandey and Atul Dubey – were killed illegally while being taken by the police for interrogation.
Similarly, the killings of his aide Prabhat Mishra and Praveen Dubey, and that of Vikas himself, in heavy police presence is “prima-facie extremely fishy” and the police story is “unbelievable”, she added.
“The way police demolished his house without a legal order and behaved with his wife and child was improper and inhuman,” she said, requesting the Commission to inquire into these allegations.
Civil Defence Inspector General Amitabh Thakur said it was possible that Dubey might have got killed in an encounter while trying to escape from police custody, thus bringing everything to a close.
“This episode has brought to light the muck in the UP police and there is a need to take action against those found guilty,” he said, adding that Dubey’s “good relations with officers and politicians should also be looked into.”
Taking his point further, former DGP Prakash Singh said some “strange” stories have come out from the media regarding the encounter.
The Special Task Force party accompanying Dubey should have taken adequate care and must have been in good numbers to ensure any such eventuality did not arise, he said.
“I have a lurking suspicion, (but) no proof,” he said. “Maybe people who thought (they) would be exposed and held accountable for complicity and nexus with Dubey, created a situation that this man tried to escape,”
“All possibilities are there. A lot of people stood to lose by the disclousres and statement he would have made in normal course,” he said.
“They must have been uncomfortable…people of different parties — SP, BSP, BJP — these are the people who would have lost face and faced tough time explaining their action. They might have a hand in creating a situation that encounter had to take place. All kind of possibilities are there,” he said.