Vikas – The 119th Encounter by the UP police under Yogi Government
The constitution of India is supreme, and it lays out the role and duties of Police, it has the right to apprehend and enquire, the right to trial & punishment lies with the judiciary. Machoism of Hindi movies, the slow pace of Court, political- criminal nexus and scant respect of human rights have led to many policemen assuming the role of “judiciary”, to award punishment. This is a dangerous trend, because once this terror is unleashed, unconstitutionally legitimized and celebrated, it will engulf innocent people in its fire, there is no coming back from this path.
Less Than 25% of Indians Trust Police
A study by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), research institute highlighted that less than 25% of Indians trusted the Police. Indian police laws have genesis in the 1857 uprising against the British. And most laws are governed by the colonial-era Police Act, designed to punish and inflict damage on Indians. Ameya Bokil, speaking on behalf of Nikita Sonavane, who runs the Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project, a litigation and research platform from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, says “The policing system was developed to control the colonial subject, and adopted by the postcolonial state to maintain social control over marginalised communities.”
Vikas Dubey knew too many secrets of politicians.
Vikas Dubey who died in a filmy style encounter on July 10, 2020, had a first criminal case registered against him in the early 1990s, and by 2020, he was charged in over 60 criminal cases. A clear example of law and establishment failing to check the rise of a local goon.
Santosh Shukla, a BJP minister, was killed in 2001, in the presence of his security gaurds by Dubey. Reportedly Dubey was sentenced to life term for murdering Siddheshwar Pandey and got bail from the Allahabad High Court in 2001 in the said matter. “His appeal against his conviction is still pending in High Court,” says Dubey’s lawyer Vikram Sengar. Ironical as it may sound, a convicted person has continued the crime spree; he had political and Police backing.
Photographs of Vikas Dubey posing with bureaucrats and politicians are circulating on social media. UP’s law minister, Brajesh Pathak, who is from Kanpur, was photographed with Dubey, as was Satish Nigam, a former Samajwadi Party MLA. UP Police encounters follow the same line and length of a Bollywood movie, where the accused tried to flee from police custody and firee bullets on police personnel, in the act of self-defence the Police had to fire and incidentally, the criminal died. UP Police has been on an encounter spree since CM Yogi came to power, Vikas was the 119th encounter by the UP police.
The encounter story has many loopholes that will be only deciphered through an impartial enquiry. Questions are around:
• Why a hardcore criminal like was not handcuffed?
• Why wasn’t the service revolver not secured by the police personal?
• Why was the media stooped from trailing police convoy, taking Dubey to Kanpur? The encounter took place 20 mins after the media was abruptly stopped on the highway from following Police convoy.
• Mahindra SUV that had toppled was not straightened and towed. It was dragged sideways by a tow vehicle, thereby, potentially erasing vital marks on the body, that would have pointed to speed of the vehicle and if it did overturn, as claimed by Police?
• It’s a busy highway, why didn’t other vehicles topple that were in convoy, most police vehicles trail each other tightly when a high-risk suspect is moved.
• Why wasn’t Dubey taken to Court and taken on remand through Court, does the Law allow a criminal to be hand over by one state police to another, without being produced in Court?
Many Secrets buried with Dubeys Death
Mystery eclipses the ‘encounters’ in which Dubey and his comrades were killed by the UP police, thereby ending the trail of secrets and links to politicians, government and Police personal, that resulted in his rise. Fraudsters, cheaters and gangsters like Dubey do not merit sympathy. Yet, there cannot be kangaroo courts or self-styled “Justice Doers” taking Law in their hands and killing them, criminals have to be tried and sentenced by the Court.
Encounters by Police to hide their failure
Many a times, Police may be doing these staged encounters to hide years of inaction and in the bed stories with criminals like Dubey. Remember it was Police personal itself who tipped about a raid at his place, that led to Dubey allegedly killing eight UP Policemen.
In NHRC’s view, false encounters are, at times, staged by police officers because there is pressure by the political masters to show quick results by means fair or foul. The government should release Gangster Dubey’s call records for the last five years and unearth the unholy nexus between politicians, officers and criminals, that protected him for so many years.
Trigger Happy Policemen Remember Law will Catch Up One day.
Everything has an end, the trigger happy policemen should remember, once their masters disappear or fall from their citadel, the Law will catch up. Be it Bhagalpur blindings, forty years ago, on which Filmmaker, made the successful movie Gangajal. Or the recent sentencing of six Punjab Police officers, who were convicted for their roles in abducting and murdering innocent Sikh civilians in the 1990s under the congress regime, Law does catch up.
On September 23, 2014, in People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. the State of Maharashtra, a two-Judge SC bench of then CJI RM Lodha and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman detailed a set of 16-point guidelines to be followed for a thorough, effective and independent investigation into every encounter death. They had opined that in a society governed by the Rule of Law, extra-judicial killings must be properly and independently investigated so that justice may be done.
Now it needs to be seen if the Yogi Adityanath government will follow the protocol set by none other than the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.