Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Police constable Vijay Rathore, part of the team that arrested Kanpur gangster Vikas Dubey in Ujjain earlier this week, is scared for his life.
In a video that went viral after Dubey’s arrest, the gangster is heard proclaiming “I am Vikas Dubey of Kanpur” as he appears to ease a policeman’s hold on his collar as they stand against a police vehicle.
The next moment, a loud thump is heard as another policeman, standing behind Dubey, lands a slap on his back. The slap, Rathore says, came from him, and he is now afraid Dubey’s henchmen may target him for vengeance. He is also among the police personnel who handcuffed him.
— ANI (@ANI) July 9, 2020
In a video byte to an Ujjain-based journalist, Rathore said he slapped Dubey after he used abusive language against policemen.
“As soon as we arrested him, he became angry. He said, ‘If I were in Uttar Pradesh, I would have smashed your hands and legs, set fire to your houses and would have ruined you’,” added Rathore.
“As I was one of the police personnel who arrested him, he repeatedly expressed anger at me. He repeatedly threatened us that he will ruin our families and hurled foul language at us,” said Rathore. “He even refused to sit inside the vehicle.”
Dubey, a notorious gangster, was arrested Thursday, days after fleeing Kanpur following an ambush at his house that led to the death of eight police personnel on 3 July. He was accompanied at the time by two suspected aides, identified by the state government as Bittu and Suresh.
Dubey was killed Friday in an alleged police encounter that remains clouded in suspicions about its authenticity.
In a nearly three-minute video byte, Rathore is heard saying he is scared about his and his family’s safety. “I don’t know about the whereabouts of his gang members. There is a possibility some of them might be here. His gang seems to be very big,” Rathore added.
“If his gang can ambush a police team and kill eight of them, I fear for my safety and of my family.”
The constable has appealed to senior authorities to provide him with some weapon for safety purposes.
‘Arrested from outside temple’
Like his death, Dubey’s arrest has also been subject to several questions. There have been allegations that he may have surrendered. Social media users have pointed to the absence of any clear signs of a struggle, and footage of Dubey walking patiently alongside police personnel on the temple premises, to question the police narrative that he was arrested after a tip-off.
It was a total planned surrender by Vikas Dubey. He held photo sessions too. Later shouted his name to let public know he has surrendered and should not be encountered. Who was clicking these pictures? pic.twitter.com/NUkwMsf0sj
— Anil Tiwari (@Interceptors) July 9, 2020
— Sushil Yati (@SushilYati) July 9, 2020
Rathore, however, said Dubey was arrested from outside Ujjain’s Mahakal temple and brought to the Mahakal police chowki. According to police, Dubey was first spotted at the temple Thursday by the owner of a shop where he bought some flowers and prasad. The flower-seller is then said to have tipped off security guards.
“The owner (of the shop), who had seen him on TV, became suspicious and called up the private security agency at the temple and informed them,” Ujjain superintendent of police (SP) Manoj Kumar Singh told journalists after Dubey’s arrest.
The private security guards of the temple, police say, then informed them. Dubey, Singh said, gave them a false name first but later revealed his correct identity. “He was then taken to the police station where we interrogated him,” he added. “Police are trying to collect more information about the two persons (arrested with him),” he said.
The evening following his arrest, Dubey was handed over to an Uttar Pradesh special task force (STF) that had arrived in the state to obtain his custody.
“We handed him over to the STF when they reached here. They later left for Uttar Pradesh with Dubey,” the Ujjain SP told journalists. The fact that Dubey was not presented before a local court for the procurement of a transit remand and directly handed over to UP Police is among the factors deepening the mystery around his arrest and death.
Asked about this, Arvind Tomar, in charge of the Mahakal Police Station, said he was handed over to UP Police on the basis of an application from them. “Dubey was handed over to Uttar Pradesh Police in response to an application from the Kanpur police to the Ujjain superintendent of police,” Tomar added.
However, legal experts suggest due procedure may not have been followed.
“Police should have approached a local magistrate for a transit remand for a gangster who is involved in so many serious offences, including killing of eight policemen,” social worker and senior advocate Satyanarayana Purohit said.