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Valid Gun License, No Challenge to Bail & Parole: UP Govt Affidavit on Vikas Dubey Raises Questions

Gangster Vikas Dubey was shot dead in an encounter, a day after his arrest in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.

Gangster Vikas Dubey was shot dead in an encounter, a day after his arrest in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.

A close scrutiny of the affidavit filed by Director General of Police points out several factors that flag concerns regarding policing in the state as well as obvious sloppiness of the state administration.

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Utkarsh Anand

The affidavit submitted by the Uttar Pradesh government in the Supreme Court in justification of the encounter killing of Vikas Dubey raises more questions than it answers.

A close scrutiny of the affidavit filed by Director General of Police (DGP) Hitesh Chandra Awasthy points out several factors that flag concerns regarding policing in the state as well as obvious sloppiness of the state administration.

How did Vikas Dubey have a valid Arms license despite 63 criminal cases?

Even as Dubey was facing 63 criminal cases, for charges under murder, extortion, dacoity and kidnapping, the gangster and his henchmen still held valid Arms licenses, authorising them to carry guns. Dubey’s license was not cancelled even though he had been sentenced to life imprisonment in one of the murder cases against him. Similarly, many of his associates too carried guns with valid licenses. It suggests grave lapses as to how Dubey was issued a license and he could ‘legally’ carry a gun despite being a “hardened” criminal and a convict.

If Dubey carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh on him, how was he out?

The affidavit maintained that Dubey was booked under the National Security Act since 2001. There was also a reward of Rs 5 lakh on him in connection with an FIR lodged in 2020 under charges of abducting a person with an intent to kill. But the DGP is silent as to how Dubey was not in jail despite having 63 cases on him in total, out of which three criminal cases were registered in 2020 itself. There are some recent videos of Dubey doing the rounds, including the one in which he can be seen attending the wedding of his nephew. One would wonder how a man carrying Rs 5 lakh as reward on his head, with three decades of criminal career, would so comfortably attend a wedding.

Why did the police not seek cancellation of Dubey’s bail in a 2020 FIR?

In another case registered against Dubey in 2020, he was out on bail but there was no appeal made by the police to get his bail cancelled. This FIR by Kanpur police had invoked penal charges of abduction with intent to murder, apart from rioting and criminal intimidation. Even as the affidavit mentions Dubey as a history sheeter, the police chose not to even challenge bail to the ‘Gang leader of D-124,’ who by that time had more than five dozen cases against him. Instead, the DGP has said that Dubey was “under constant surveillance.”

How did Dubey get out on parole when he was serving life term in one case and stood charged in five dozen other cases?

Grant of parole to Dubey also creates suspicion. Someone who has been sentenced to life imprisonment, apart from facing serious charges in over 60 other cases, was released on parole after a favourable report by the prison officials. The DGP’s affidavit in the Supreme Court casually mentions that when Dubey massacred eight policemen on July 2, he was out on parole while undergoing life imprisonment in a case. There is nothing further disclosed as to how someone like Dubey with a long list of serious crimes could come out on parole.

Were the state government, police actively pursuing over 60 criminal cases against Dubey?

The affidavit lists out the 63 criminal cases in which Dubey was facing charges before he killed eight policemen on July 2. Out of this, there were seven murder cases -- oldest in 1992 and the latest in 2017. There were also nine cases of attempted murder. But the DGP has refrained from giving any details regarding these cases, such as the status of the investigations, trials or convictions. While the chart furnishes numbers of the cases, sections of the Indian Penal Code invoked, it fails to apprise the apex court of status of any of these cases so as to demonstrate if the state government was pursuing the prosecutions against him with appropriate seriousness.

Why was such a ‘hardened’ and ‘dreaded’ history sheeter not handcuffed enroute?

The affidavit also admits that Dubey was not handcuffed when he was being brought to Kanpur from Ujjain. On this aspect, the DGP does not give rationale behind not hand-cuffing a man who had a week ago brutally killed eight policemen. Instead, the response to this aspect merely states that there were 15 personnel and three vehicles to escort the accused to a court in Kanpur.

The affidavit has mentioned that some of these aspects have been made subject matter of inquiry by the special investigation teams, which have senior officials of the state government and police as its members.

But the real question for determination by the Supreme Court is whether these facts are evidence enough for having an independent inquiry by a team not associated with the dispensation in the state. All eyes will hence be on the top court on Monday.


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