KANPUR: Exactly a week after killing eight cops in a guerrilla-style ambush on a police team that had entered his lair to arrest him, UP gangster Vikas Dubey met his end on Friday in typical “encounter” fashion – on a rain-drenched highway, following a car accident that, according to the police, gave him the opportunity to snatch a gun from an STF commando, open fire and run, only to be brought down with three shots to his chest and one in an arm.
Arrested in Ujjain on Thursday, the 48-year-old gangster was being brought to Kanpur overnight in a three-vehicle police convoy when the Mahindra TUV he was in skidded and toppled over barely 22km ahead of the Kanpur village from where he had fled immediately after the July 3 bloodbath.
Police said Dubey, the don of Bikru whose notoriety extended far beyond the village where his career in crime started, was shot dead in the Sachendi area, 10km from the district headquarters. Kanpur SSP Dinesh Kumar Prabhu said the vehicle carrying Dubey was speeding to stay ahead of the other vehicles behind the convoy when it swerved past a buffalo herd amid pounding rain and overturned.
Dubey then wriggled out of the vehicle and allegedly pounced on an STF commando to snatch his gun. “He opened fire before trying to run away. Four members of the 18-strong UP Police team escorting him were injured in the melee,” said ADG (law and order) Prashant Kumar. All four cops are reported to be in stable condition.
After being shot four times while trying to run away, Dubey’s blood-splattered body was taken to Kanpur’s Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital, where doctors declared him dead on arrival, the police said. During the gangster’s funeral at Bhairavghat on the banks of the Ganga in Kanpur, Dubey’s wife Richa told reporters, “I will pick up the gun to bring justice to my beloved husband.”
Among the many unanswered questions about the circumstances of Dubey’s death is about the media contingent behind the convoy being stopped for a “police check” barely 600m ahead of the spot on Panki Road where the accident and the subsequent “shootout” occurred.
Just 15 minutes later, gunshots were heard. There was also no clarity on whether any of the injured police personnel was wounded in the alleged firing by Dubey. The four cops, including two STF commandos, were admitted to Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital.
Senior police officials, including ADG (Kanpur zone) JN Singh, IG (Kanpur) Mohit Agarwal and SSP Prabhu visited the hospital to enquire about their condition. Dr RB Kamal, who treated the injured cops, said, “The condition of the cops is stable. Bullets grazed their chests.”
Dubey had been handed over to the STF on Thursday within hours of his dramatic appearance and arrest at the Mahakaal temple in Ujjain. Dubey had been on the run since July 3, traversing four states undetected before entering MP. In the interregnum, three of his aides were arrested and five killed in separate encounters.