Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Bodies of eight policemen left in a pool of blood. Goons standing ready with arms, even before the police reached the spot; opening fire on them and then managing to escape.
No, this is not some scene from ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ or ‘Mirzapur’. This is a real life incident from Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur.
On 3 July, a gangster and his goons opened fire on a police team. Eight policemen were killed in the shootout. A UP Police team had reached the spot to arrest history-sheeter Vikas Dubey, but his goons opened fire at the cops.
Gauging from the way Dubey's men were armed it appears he was tipped off about the police raid. Dubey has more than 60 criminal cases against him and yet, he had the kind of reach within the police force to be made aware of the raid in advance.
Vikas' 'vikas' has been such, that he won the panchayat elections from Shivrajpur while he was in jail. He was the even elected the village pradhan. Vikas allegedly has links to every political party.
It is no surprise then, that in 2001, he was accused of killing BJP MoS Santosh Shukla inside a police state, and went scot-free. And now, his goons have killed eight policemen. The policemen of Yogi Adityanath’s government are now looking for Dubey.
The same Yogi Adityanath, who says that criminals in UP are either in jail or have run away from the state.
The big question now is, How did Dubey muster the courage to kill eight police personnel? How did gangster Pintu Sengar’s killer manage to escape after killing him, some ten days back in Kanpur? How did criminals manage to escape in a police van after killing two policemen in Amroha?
Policemen Killed by Gangsters — Not the First Time in UP
This reminds us of Operation 'Dadua'. When police under the Mayawati regime had shot dead the notorious Shiv Kumar Patel 'Dadua' in July 2007, ending his 40-year-old reign. It was a similar situation, as Dadua had been given protection by all governments till then.
The police team that killed Dadua, when returning after the shootout was fired upon by his gang members. Dadua's gang members killed at least 6 police personnel.
The Kanpur shootout is a stark reminder of the Dadua incident. Just that the gangster's name has changed, in this case. It was Dadua then, it is Dubey now. Mayawati was in power then, Yogi Adityanath is in power now.
Politics-Crime Nexus Not New in UP
The connection between politics and crime is not new in UP. And the list of politicians with criminal records is quite long.
Hari Shankar Tiwari
In 1985, the UP Legislative Assembly seat of Chillupar became the talk of the town, when Hari Shankar Tiwari won the seat as an independent candidate, while still in jail. This sparked the criminalisation of politics, started in eastern UP with Hari Shankar Tiwari in Gorakhpur. Several criminal cases were filed against Tiwari in Gorakhpur in the 1980s, ranging from murder, extortion, to kidnapping. Tiwari remained the MLA from Chillupar for 22 years in a row. He also took oath as minister in the erstwhile SP, BSP and BJP governments.
DP Yadav was elected MLA four times and MP two times. Yadav started dealing in illicit liquor in 1970. Criminal cases against him kept rising gradually. In 1992, he was accused of killing the MLA from Dadri Mahendra Bhati. He was still elected as MLA in the erstwhile SP government. Later, he was elected as a BJP MP in Rajya Sabha. Though, BJP soon distanced itself from him.
Ansari still holds considerable dominance in Varanasi, Jaunpur, Ghazipur and Mau in eastern UP. Ansari is a five-time MLA from Mau Assembly constituency. Murder, kidnapping and extortion, Ansari has many criminals cases against him.
Raghuraj Pratap Singh aka 'Raja Bhaiya', entered UP politics in 1993. Since then, he has remained an MLA. He is accused of several murders, including that of DSP Zia-ul-Haq. He was a minister in the Kalyan Singh-led government and holds clear dominance in Pratapgarh.
Mishra entered politics around 1980 and became Congress block chief. He won Assembly elections in 2002, 2007 and 2012 from Gyanpur seat on a Samajwadi Party ticket. There are several criminal cases against him. Such is his dominance, that he won in the 2017 Assembly elections despite the Modi wave.
When Atique Ahmed was contesting from Allahabad West seat for the first time, a young lawyer working in Allahabad High Court, Zainul Abedin, was also contesting for the same seat on a Janata Dal ticket. People had predicted that Zainul would win but, before filing his nomination, he was killed and Ahmed was elected MLA from Allahabad. He was elected SP MP from Phulpur in 2004. There are several criminal cases against him and he is currently in jail.
Tripathi is often called a cocktail of politics and crime. He is a mafioso, who was embraced by almost every political party. He stayed in Congress for a long time. Then became a minister in the BJP government, and won an election from jail. Currently, he is serving a life sentence for the murder of Madhumita Shukla.
So, this is the story of the deep connection between politics and crime in Uttar Pradesh. Did this connection cost the lives of eight policemen? UP Police is confident of catching Vikas Dubey. But, even if Dubey is arrested, some other gangster could do a repeat of the Kanpur shootout.
Without breaking the connection between politics and crime, the danger will remain.
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