New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh Police Friday denied killing gangster Vikas Dubey in a “fake encounter” before the Supreme Court.
In an affidavit submitted before the top court, Director General of Police, Hitesh Chandra Awasthy, said Dubey died in an early morning cross-firing on 10 July at Sachendi, a village located 25 km from Kanpur city.
UP Police also disputed media reports that stated Dubey had surrendered before the Madhya Pradesh Police in Ujjain.
The affidavit stated that authorities of Mahakaal temple in Ujjain and policemen posted at a nearby post identified Dubey on 9 July, took him into custody and handed him over to the UP Police on the same day.
The affidavit comes in response to a batch of petitions in the Supreme Court, seeking a judicial probe into the alleged fake encounter.
During the last hearing on 14 July, a bench led by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde indicated its intention to set up a probe panel as it did in the case of the Telangana encounter, which took place last December. Four alleged rapists of a young vet in Hyderabad were shot dead by Telangana Police when they allegedly tried to flee.
The UP Police, in its affidavit, drew a distinction between Dubey’s encounter and the one by Telangana Police. It also sought to disprove the “misconceptions” surrounding the encounter.
Detailed answers were provided in the affidavit to multiple questions that were raised against the police in the aftermath of the incident.
The affidavit stated the police team resorted to firing in self-defence after Dubey attacked the policemen, who were escorting him back to Kanpur, when the vehicle in which they were travelling overturned due to heavy rains.
Dubey had experience of killing policemen
According to the police, Dubey had a strong reason to escape while he was being taken to Kanpur. To justify the ‘encounter’, the affidavit has given out details of the cases that were pending against Dubey.
It even narrated the 2 July incident when Dubey and his men killed eight policemen on duty. He was on parole then, the police stated in the affidavit.
“As the deceased gangster was facing 64 serious cases, he was serving life sentence in one of the cases and was out on parole, when on 2 July he massacred eight police officers on duty,” the affidavit said.
The sequence of events of 2 July, the police said, showed that Dubey not only had a strong reason and motive to flee from police custody (as he attempted to do on 10 July), but also had the capacity, potential and experience of attacking police personnel and killing them, the police submitted.
Misconceptions about the encounter
The affidavit gave a detailed description of the events that transpired preceding Dubey’s killing.
The police said Dubey did not surrender but was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh Police. He was transferred to another UP Police vehicle in Guna as a security measure and was seated between a constable and an inspector when the accident took place.
UP Police defended its action not to handcuff Dubey, saying 15 police personnel and three vehicles were escorting him directly to the court in Kanpur.
They also refuted reports that media vehicles were stopped 2 km before the encounter site.
“Media vehicles continuously followed the police from Ujjain and did live telecasts. There was a traffic jam at the checkpoints,” the affidavit explained.
To the argument that there were no witnesses to the encounter, the police submitted: “Near the accident, there was no habitation or houses. Due to heavy rains there was no pedestrian movement also.”
UP Police also denied claims that Dubey could not escape by running because video shots of him in Ujjain showed him limping. Police said Dubey’s fast and covert travel across states in a short span of time was a testimony of his “perfect mobility”.
It was a close “face-to-face exchange of fire”, the police said, with their team firing six rounds at him when he did not surrender. Three bullets hit Dubey who, according to the affidavit, facing the policemen fired nine rounds at them. This is the reason why there is no bullet injury on his back, the police explained, rejecting theories of a fake encounter.
They said the state government has constituted a judicial commission to inquire into the matter, and both the National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commission were informed about the ‘encounter’ in accordance with the guidelines.
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