The Killing of a Don

India Today|July 20, 2020

The Killing of a Don
Kanpur’s dreaded ganglord Vikas Dubey, whose long-arm connections and influence with the state police and politicians were part of local folklore, didn’t last a day in the custody of the UP police.
Ashish Misra

Arrested outside Madhya Pra desh’s Mahakal temple in Ujjain, after a tip-off on July 9, he was being taken to Kanpur when the car he was traveling in overturned, reportedly in an accident, an hour before the police convoy was to reach the city. As with his associates, the police say he tried to snatch a gun before they shot him dead.

It ended a seven-day chase of the ganglord from Bikru village in Kanpur district, whose men, on the night of July 2, had massacred eight officers of a 20-member Uttar Pradesh police posse who had gone to the village to arrest him. But the ‘arrest’ and subsequent killing of Dubey raise disquieting questions. Inspector General (IG), Civil Defence department in the UP police, Amitabh Thakur asks, “What was the hurry to kill him in an encounter? We couldn’t arrest Dubey and he finally surrendered in faraway Ujjain. What is the government trying to hide?”

If media reports are to be believed, Dubey, who was holed up in Faridabad, Haryana, was planning to surrender in a court in Noida. But the massive police presence at the court complex dissuaded him as he had feared that he would be ‘encountered’. He gave the slip to the police there and made his way to Ujjain in MP. Sources say he informed the MP police about his location, following which they turned up to ‘arrest’ him. Dubey was handed over to the UP police after the Ujjain local court approved a transit remand.

In Kanpur, Dubey’s mother had told reporters that Vikas visited the Mahakal temple every year during the month of shraavan and that “Mahakal saved him from certain death”. It didn’t quite play out like that.

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July 20, 2020