Vikas Dubey Encounter put big question mark on UP Police’s script

Almost all the UP Police encounters follow a similar script where the accused tried to flee from police custody and fired bullets on police personnel. And as an act of self-defense the police had to fire

Vikas Dubey’s dramatic chase and encounter has got Uttar Pradesh (UP) police and Yogi Adityanath government under the scanner once again. Yogi Adityanath took oath in 2017 and made his intentions very clear regarding criminals. However, the telltale of the encounters looks suspicious for more than one reasons.

Dubey’s was 119th encounter by UP police and the script of the encounter is already under scrutiny by many. There was a Petition filed in Supreme Court on the day of his arrest, but proved of no use. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati have demanded a free and fair investigation in the Vikas Dubey Encounter under the guidance of SC. Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav has also questioned the conduct of UP police and indicated a political nexus behind it to protect big names.

What remains a mystery is whether it was a real encounter or a UP police’s script to protect someone?

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UP government’s brag on the encounters

However, this is not the first encounter to be tagged on UP police. In September 2016, on completion of six months of Adityanath’s government, a data was released which said that 420 encounters have taken place in the six months in which 15 alleged criminals were killed. In 2019, before Republic Day, UP government issued a notice to all District Magistrates asking them to publicize over 3,200 encounters and 79 killings as an achievement of the staate government, reported National Herald.

In December 2019, UP police’s official twitter handle had responded to Mayawati’s tweet with, “103 criminals have been killed and 1,859 injured in 5,178 police engagement in last more than 2 years.”

The government data reveals that 3,896 encounters had taken place by that time, in which 8,904 were accused, 76 killed and 1,154 were injured. As a result, national Human Rights Commission had also issued a notice to UP government over alleged extrajudicial killings. In January 2019, SC had also issued a notice to UP government.

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Previous disparities

In August 2018, The Indian Express had investigated 41 out of 63 encounter deaths that happened in 2,351 encounters. Almost all of them followed a similar script where the accused tried to flee from police custody and fired bullets on police personnel. And as an act of self-defense the police had to fire. The accused was reported dead in cross fire in most of the cases. In most of the cases the concerned police station did not provide details of the encounter, and the families of many dead were also not traced.

Though in the collected information, 25 post mortem reports were not given to the family. In 16 of the accessed reports, many were clearly head shot. The language of all the FIRs were almost same with repetition of similar words, and in none of the cases any witness was present as police said they were not ready to speak. In all the cases the police officers involved in the encounter were transferred to other places.

There were also allegations of systematic targeting of the minorities like Muslims, Dalits and OBCs, regarding which NHRC had questioned UP government.

Current Scenario

Till now, 74 investigations have been completed against UP police in all of which they got a clean chit. However, the questions raised are still unanswered.

Vikas Dubey was the 119th criminal to be killed in a similar encounter like his aide Prabhat Mishra who was killed a day before. Dubey’s political ties were already being questioned by many. And many have shown indications that his statements would have led to a severe harm to his allies.

Written By Rashi, She is doing her Masters in Convergent Journalism from Jamia AJKMCRC, New Delhi.

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