Cop killed gangster Vikas Dubey ‘in defence’, UP police tells SC, claims encounter was genuine
Uttar Pradesh government has refuted the allegations that Kanpur gangster Vikas Dubey and five of his associates were killed in staged encounters in its detailed reply submitted to the Supreme Court on Friday.
UP police maintained that Vikas Dubey was killed in an encounter when he opened fire at the special task force team which was pursuing him when he attempted to escape while being taken to Kanpur from Ujjain.
In its affidavit filed before Supreme Court on Friday, the Uttar Pradesh government said that the vehicle in which Dubey was being brought to Kanpur overturned when it tried to avoid hitting a herd of cattle which was crossing the road.
“All the four police persons in the vehicle got seriously injured and lost consciousness. Accused Vikas Dubey snatched a pistol from Inspector Rama Kant Pichauri and escaped through the backdoor of the police SUV,” the affidavit said.
The STF team reached the spot and a team led by DySP TB Singh pursued Dubey. Dubey then fired indiscriminately at STF.
“In defence, the STF fired six shots at Vikas Dubey. Three shots hit him. He was then rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead”, the affidavit said.
The Supreme Court had indicated on Tuesday that a judicial probe could be ordered into the killings while it asked the Uttar Pradesh government to submit its response to a bunch of petitions demanding an independent investigation into the matter.
The police’s claim has been contested widely, with experts alleging that their version was unconvincing. Politicians, former police officers, and rights groups have demanded a probe in Dubey’s killing and also of five others linked to Dubey, who were killed between July 3 and July 9.
The Supreme Court had also set up a judicial probe in the Telangana encounter case earlier this year and it said on Tuesday that a similar approach could be undertaken in this case. It even asked the petitioners to suggest the composition of the judicial inquiry committee to probe the encounters.
However, the three judge bench headed by the chief justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde had ruled out monitoring of the probe.
The matter was posted for hearing on Monday, by when the UP government has been asked to file a status report in the case.
The SC bench is hearing three petitions including one by Ghanshyam Upadhyay, a lawyer, who had filed a petition before Dubey was killed fearing he will be ‘eliminated’ like his accomplices.
Anoop Prakash Awasthi, another petitioner, has sought a probe into the alleged police-politician-gangster nexus behind Dubey and his gang members’ killings. He has alleged the state police consider themselves to be above the law and hence “their excesses” in this case should be subject to a court-monitored probe either by central agencies or a panel headed by a retired judge.
Dubey and his men were hunted down within a span of seven days in an intense operation by Uttar Pradesh special task force after eight policemen, including DSP Devendra Mishra, were killed in an ambush laid out allegedly by Dubey and his men in Bikru village of Kanpur. The police team had gone there to arrest Dubey in another case, when they were trapped and killed by a hail of bullets fired by the gangsters’ men. Some of the policemen’s bodies were even mutilated after they died.
The STF nabbed Dubey in Ujjain, where he was spotted by locals at the famous Mahakal temple. He had reached there after giving police the slip in Haryana’s Faridabad. Police claim he snatched the revolver of a police officer before fleeing after the road accident in Kanpur on July 10. They claim that when cops tried to catch him alive, he opened fire at them, forcing retaliatory fire from the cops, in which he received fatal injuries.
The opposition has alleged that Dubey was killed to cover up a gangster-police-politician nexus in Uttar Pradesh.
Dubey and five alleged members of his gang have so far been gunned down in separate encounters in Kanpur, Hamirpur and Etawah.