Surrender or arrest? Questions raised after Vikas Dubey nabbed
After giving police the slip for nearly a week, noted gangster Vikas Dubey, wanted by Uttar Pradesh Police in connection to the brutal killings of eight cops, was arrested in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain this morning. Dubey was reportedly spotted by a shopkeeper outside the famed Mahakal Temple. While his arrest qualifies as a major breakthrough, many questions are being asked about its "authenticity."
Dubey, who enjoyed police and politicians' patronage for years, has more than 60 criminal cases against him. Last week, he planned a sensational shootout in Bikru village, Kanpur, when cops arrived for his arrest. His henchmen fired at the uniformed men from the rooftop, killing eight, including a DSP. He fled, remained in Faridabad for a brief time, before being nabbed today.
In the last few days, the Special Task Force, formed to bring Dubey to justice, made some headway. Five of his associates were killed in encounters. Dubey's right-hand man Amar was killed yesterday and two aides — Praveen and Prabhat — were gunned down today.
As per one version of his arrest, Dubey was seen by a shopkeeper when he tried entering the temple through the back door. Recognizing him, he alerted the police. But some reports said he visited the temple on a VIP pass and had made himself comfortable inside the premises. As per IANS, Dubey himself asked security officials to inform about his whereabouts to police.
The biggest question which popped up after his arrest was how did Dubey, a criminal whose image has been blaring on TV since Friday, managed to travel from Kanpur to Ujjain, some 674 kilometer away, after staying briefly in Haryana. He is believed to have traveled via Rajasthan's Kota in a car having a UP number. How exactly did he mysteriously escape cops' eyes?
There are speculations that Dubey chose a heavily fortified area to "reveal" himself to ensure he wasn't killed just like his aides. When he was being taken away by Madhya Pradesh Police, Dubey shouted, "Main Vikas Dubey Hoon, Kanpurwala" and was slapped by a cop, who asked him to keep quiet. The gangster will now be brought back to Kanpur by UP Police.
Quickly after his arrest, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan appreciated Ujjian Police, while saying that he is in touch with his UP counterpart, Yogi Adityanath. MP Home Minister Narottam Mishra also patted police's back saying they spare no one. But even retired senior police officers found something fishy in his arrest. A retired DGP called it a "pre-planned surrender."
"He had successfully eluded police in three states and it is rather unusual that he would enter a temple without a mask and get arrested. He knew that he would be shot dead if he gave himself up to UP police," the DGP told IANS.
Another senior officer said Dubey chose a "safe state" and didn't go to courts. "Unless the police decide to make another mistake, he will not be harmed physically now," the cop said. Meanwhile, Mohit Aggarwal, IG, Kanpur said many of Dubey's associates were either killed or caught. "So definitely he was trying to save his life and was on the run," he added.
Among politicians, Congress' Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the arrest raises questions. "The way in which the accused reached Ujjain despite an alert not just exposes false claims of security but also points to a nexus," she tweeted. Similarly, Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav demanded clarification from the government. "Call records should be made public so that those who colluded with him are exposed," he wrote.