By Vikram Singh
Following the killing of notorious gangster Vikas Dubey in Uttar Pradesh, the main accused in a brutal attack that left eight policemen dead and seven others injured in Kanpur, comparisons are being drawn between the Kanpur and Hyderabad encounters. These comparisons are highly disappointing and shocking.
Dubey, a hardened criminal, had a well-planned strategy to kill the policemen who had gone to arrest him in connection with an attempt to murder case. He was aware about the police raid and was prepared to take on the police team. He had blocked the road near his house by an earthmover. As soon as the police team got down, Dubey’s men showered bullets from rooftops. The cops were caught unawares and couldn’t find a place to save themselves.
Eight policemen, including the circle officer, who had gone to arrest Dubey were brutally killed by the criminal and his associates, while seven others were injured. The post-mortem report revealed that sharp-edged weapons were used to kill the policemen.
Dubey, a notorious gangster entered Shivli Police Station in 2001 and shot Santosh Shukla, then a minister of state in the Rajnath Singh government, in front of two dozen policemen in broad daylight.
Dubey was a history sheeter with 64 criminal cases against him including eight murder cases, 10 cases of attempt to murder, four dacoity cases and the recent murder of eight policemen.
People of Kanpur and adjoining areas have had first-hand experience of his brutality. Nobody even dared to lodge a complaint against him in the police station or testify against him. The Hyderabad accused, in contrast, were not hardened criminals. They had committed a heinous crime, a crime against humanity when they raped and murdered the victim and later burnt her body. After burning the victim’s body, they got sacred and were on the run.
Dubey was a don on whom the Uttar Pradesh government had announced a bounty of Rs 5 lakh.
Parallels cannot be done between the two incidents. The Kanpur encounter happened when one of the vehicles in which Dubey was being taken from Ujjain to Kanpur, to be produced before a magistrate, overturned, and the accused fled from the police custody. This happened due to heavy rain. The Hyderabad encounter happened when the accused were being taken to the crime scene in the morning for the reconstruction of the incident. There was no accident.
In Kanpur encounter case, there is clinching and material evidence on record to establish that the vehicle skidded over a slippery road. Policemen also sustained injuries due to the accident as well as in the fire opened by the criminal.
The Uttar Pradesh government constituted a judicial enquiry commission suo motu within days of the incident. The state government has also constituted a Special Investigation Team to find out facts regarding the criminals behind the incident and their nexus with other persons. The District Magistrate, Kanpur Nagar has requested the area’s district judge to initiate an enquiry by a judicial magistrate.
The UP Police under the able guidance of Hitesh Awasthi, the state’s Director General of Police, Prashant Kumar, ADG law and order, the Kanpur police and the STF have done a commendable job and displayed professional competence of the highest order. They ran the extra mile to safeguard people like you and me. But I am also saddened by the fact that some of us have chosen to criticise the just and the gallant action of the UP police. This is totally unjustified and uncalled for.
I have a request. Please introspect. What was done by Hitesh Awasthi and his gallant team was on the call of duty. If they expose themselves and their families to the gravest of risk, it is to safeguard you, me, the state and the average citizen of the state and the country. It is so easy to criticise and as citizens of this country, it is also our right to criticise constructively. But we should not do anything that will demotivate, demoralise and dishearten our constabulary, our officers and the gallant police force who have done so much for us.
I appeal to those people who have questions about the investigations and inquiries to reserve them and raise them at the proper forum and platform. Raising and levelling baseless, mindless allegations is just not called for.
I request forbearance. Let us wait for the enquiries and the investigations to be over. If anybody is at fault, make no mistake about it, cognisance and suitable action shall be taken be taken against that person. But till that time, I have no reason, unlike all other right-thinking people, to disbelieve the UP police’s version. Therefore, I would strongly recommend, let us stand by the side of the gallant UP police.
If there is anything that I can do in thought, word and deed, in whatever small way, I am at the disposal of the UP police.
The writer is former Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh