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Kanpur shootout: SIT formed to probe killing of policemen

A policeman speaks to residents at gangster Vikas Dubey’s village Bikru in Kanpur district on July 11, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Uttar Pradesh government formed a Special Investigation Team on Saturday to probe the killing of eight policemen in Bikru village, the financial and criminal background of the accused and the role of the Kanpur police.

The development comes a day after the main accused Vikas Dubey was gunned down while allegedly trying to flee from police custody.

Also read | Opposition raises questions over Dubey killing

The SIT has been mandated to probe the involvement of policemen in the incident. It will examine a full-year’s call records of Dubey and his associates and recommend “suitable and tough” action against policemen they were in touch with, if evidence was found against them.

It will also probe if there were lapses on the part of the police in gathering information about the weapons and firepower of the assailants on the night of July 2, and at what level these lapses occurred.

Additional Chief Secretary Sanjay Bhoosreddy will head the SIT, which will also include ADG Hari Ram Sharma and DIG J. Ravinder Goud. The SIT will submit its report by July 31, the State Home Department said.

Also read | U.P. police had earlier shot dead five aides of Vikas Dubey

Dubey’s activities

The SIT will also investigate the illegally acquired properties, businesses and financial activities of Dubey, and if the local police displayed any involvement or laxity in them. The accountability of the officials, if any, who helped Dubey and his men grab official and private land, or did not act against them, would be ascertained.

The SIT has been asked to offer an opinion on recommending a probe by the Enforcement Directorate and and the Income Tax Department into the properties and sources of income of Dubey and his “financiers.”

The Home Department, however, does not speak about the killing of Dubey while he was being taken to Kanpur from Ujjain.

How Dubey continued to possess arms and get weapon licenses issued despite his criminal record would also be probed. So would the action taken by the former Chaubeypur SHO, now arrested, and other district officers on criminal complaints against Dubey.

“Tactical move”

Meanwhile, amid questions about the manner in which Dubey was shot dead, U.P. ADG, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar said the vehicle in which Dubey was being taken may have been changed as part of a “tactical move” by the operational commander.

“He was such a dreaded criminal. Somebody could have tried to attack and kill him,” Mr. Kumar told Hindi channel India TV. “It was not necessary to share every minute details with everyone questioning the “exchange of fire.”

The police operation came under question after several journalists trailing the police convoy from Ujjain said their cars were stopped by the police a few kilometres ahead of the site where Dubey was shot dead. Several social media users wanted the U.P. police to explain why Dubey was seen sitting in a Tata SUV while crossing a toll plaza before the incident, while the car that met with the “accident” was a different one.

As for why Dubey was not handcuffed, Mr. Kumar said questions would have been asked even had he been handcuffed. That was the prerogative of the team head who was escorting him.

Ultimatum to villagers

In Bikru village, police used a public address system to issue a 24-hour ultimatum to locals to provide information about the location of the weapons that were snatched from the police during the ambush. “Legal action will be initiated thereafter,” police said.

An Ak-47 and an Insas rifle among the weapons snatched from the police have still not been found.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 7:15:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kanpur-shootout-sit-formed-to-probe-killing-of-policemen/article32053270.ece

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