UP Gangster Vikas Dubey killed

Gangster Vikas Dubey, accused of killing eight policemen in a deadly ambush last week, was shot dead on Friday by the police while trying to escape after the car transporting him to Kanpur from Ujjain overturned on an isolated stretch of the highway on the outskirts of the city.

The SUV overturned in Bhaunti about 30 km out of Kanpur district, after an ‘overworked’ driver swerved sharply on the rain-slicked stretch to avoid a herd of cattle, the Special Task Force said in a statement.

The car was part of a small convoy of police vehicles transporting Dubey back to Kanpur after his supposed arrest on Thursday from a temple in Ujjain following a gruelling six-day manhunt that spanned four states.

Police said the gangster snatched a pistol from one of the policemen injured in the accident and was shot when he opened fire while trying to flee, an account being questioned by opposition parties.

Six policemen, including two from the Special Task Force, were hurt in the accident and the exchange of fire around 6 am, an official said.

Earlier, while hunting for him, the police had killed five of close aides.

On July 2, a police team, on their way to arrest Dubey, was attacked by his henchmen in Kanpur’s Bikru village after being allegedly tipped by corrupt officials in the force. Eight police personnel had died and over 15 have sustained injuries in the attack, which has led to the suspension of four cops, including SHO of Chaubeypur police station Vinay Tiwari.

Madhya Pradesh police arrested Vikas Dubey outside the Mahakal temple in Ujjain on Thursday morning. He was handed over to an Uttar Pradesh police team late in the evening.

Kanpur Range Inspector General Mohit Agarwal said Dubey fled from the car with an injured policeman’s pistol. He was chased and surrounded by policemen who asked him to surrender. When he started firing with an “intention to kill”, police opened fire in self-defence, police said.

Blood smudges marked the spot on a dirt road, trailing off the highway, where the alleged gangster was shot. A press release said he was taken to a hospital, where he died during treatment. The primary autopsy report stated that Dubey had sustained four bullet injuries – three to the chest, and one to the stomach.

Two policemen also suffered wounds, one in the arm and the other in the hand.

Hours before the encounter, an advocate had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the UP government and police to ensure that he is not killed.

Questions were being raised over the police version, challenging the account of the attempted escape of a gangster who had made no attempt to flee when nabbed near Ujjain’s Mahakal temple a day earlier.

There was also scepticism over the possibility of someone managing to snatch a policeman’s weapon and then extricating himself from an overturned vehicle. There were allegations that the media trailing the police convoy was stopped for a few minutes before the encounter took place. Video clips also appeared to show Dubey sitting in a different car when the convoy set out from Ujjain.

The UP police have denied switching cars and said the media may have been stopped for checks.

Opposition parties targeted the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh after the encounter.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the encounter as well as the ambush in which eight policemen died last week.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the criminal is now gone and asked what about those who had “protected” him. Her party has demanded a judicial probe in the entire Vikas Dubey episode.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said it was not the car that had toppled but the encounter had saved the state government from toppling, had facts come to light.

On the day the Bikru ambush took place, two of Dubey’s alleged accomplices, Prem Prakash Pandey and Atul Dubey, were killed in an encounter with police in Kanpur district.

On July 8, police killed another aide, Amar Dubey, in Maudala village in Hamirpur district.

Two more alleged accomplices were killed in Kanpur and Etawah districts on Thursday. One of them, Prabhat, died in circumstances similar to Dubey’s killing, according to the police versions.

He was being brought to Kanpur on transit remand after his arrest in Faridabad when he snatched the pistol of a policeman and tried to flee, police had said.

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