A filmy style game of shelter, surrender and encounter

In a surprising development, UP’s notorious gangster Vikas Dubey was on Friday shot dead by the police after he tried to escape following an accident involving one of the vehicles in the Special Task Force (STF) cavalcade bringing him back to the state from Madhya Pradesh. The dreaded gangster was arrested by MP police in a filmy-style drama on Mahakal temple premises in Ujjain on Thursday.
Police said there was an encounter as Vikas Dubey tried to escape when the vehicle overturned early on Friday morning. And after the accident, Dubey snatched the pistol of an STF personnel and tried to flee but was surrounded by the police team and he was injured in an exchange of fire. Later, he was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared dead.  Entire incident looks like a filmy drama.
The question is that who created this dreaded gangster Vikas Dubey? His rise through the ranks of crime hierarchy began as a grassroots worker in the 1990s when he was patronised by local politicians. It was our police and politicians who help this gangster to enlarge his hierarchy. In 2001, Dubey was accused of killing a state minister belonging to BJP in a police station. Had the police and political leadership done its job then, Dubey could have been stopped in his tracks much earlier.
Policing has rarely witnessed a slaughter of the kind that took place on July 2, when a police team went to the outskirts of Kanpur on a mission to apprehend the notorious criminal Vikas Dubey. The police party was ambushed by Dubey’s henchmen and eight policemen were brutally massacred. The team was showered with gunfire from the rooftops, before it could reach the criminal’s citadel. The policemen were chased, shot at close range, and hacked to death in a manner reminiscent of Naxal barbarity.
Te notorious Dubey’s long career proves that even criminality gets the benefit of exceptionalism and lack of accountability. Caste and religion playing a role in the police-criminal nexus, further exacerbated by UP’s changing political dispensations, have given policing a divisive ideological edge it can do without. A whopping 38,000 of 78,000 human rights violations brought before NHRC in 2017-18 were from UP. Citizens approaching a human rights forum in such large numbers are a clear sign that political representatives and the justice delivery system aren’t helping them.
But NCRB data shows chargesheeting rate of just 50% or less in UP cities like Kanpur, Lucknow and Ghaziabad. In other words, policing fails even before cases reach courts. As per the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), 143 of 403 UP’s legislators have criminal cases against them. Politicians rely heavily on influencers of vote banks and the  gangsters like Dubey provide invaluable service during election campaigns.  They can delay polling and create disturbances as the situation demands.  Dubey rose to fame in one regime, his wife fought elections in another regime under the then ruling party’s banner. Restoring rule of law must start with forcing police to follow the rulebook in letter and spirit.

- Prabhakar Purandare

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