'Dubey was a desperate criminal.'
'I don't discount the possibility of him trying to disarm the cops and escape.'
Former Uttar Pradesh director general of police, Dr Vikram Singh, explains to Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore why he does not disbelieve the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force's version on how the Vikas Dubey encounter took place. The first of a two-part interview:
Do you believe in the UP Special Task Force's version of how the Vikas Dubey encounter happened?
Do you really believe that Dubey tried to escape after the SUV in which he was being taken to Kanpur overturned?
I have no reason to disbelieve the veracity of what they are saying.
Dubey was a desperate criminal and I don't discount the possibility of him trying to disarm the cops and escape from custody.
He had already committed the murders of eight policemen and one state minister (in 2001, the Bharatiya Janata Party's Santosh Shukla).
He had nothing to lose, but take the chance of his lifetime that stared at him after the vehicle turned turtle.
But aren't there so many gaping holes in the UPSTF's version?
I see no gaping holes whatsoever.
It may be a coincidence, it may be too much of a good thing to be true for the UP police or for the STF, but on the ground I should have some cogent and logical ground to disbelieve the UPSTF's version.
Just because many encounters are alleged and perceived to be fake is not sufficient ground for me to discount or believe that this was a fake encounter.
There were so many able bodied policemen in the other two vehicles in the convoy which must have been close on the heels of the vehicle that overturned and who could have easily overpowered Vikas Dubey, who limps as can be seen from the videos of his arrest in Ujjain, when he was trying to escape.
So many questions are being raised about this encounter.
The questions should always be raised, and will be raised when such encounters happen.
We are a vibrant society, totally committed to the rule of law. Our law and society does not believe in deviant policing.
And therefore there are questions, but when the vehicle overturns there are all the possibilities of a person trying to escape.
It is not a novel situation; it was an accident and after that it was a free for all.
And in this free for all, given the devious mind that the deceased had, I do not discount the possibility that he may have tried to attempt an escape because that was his lifeline.
He knew that the courts could have either given him a life sentence or capital punishment and for such a desperate and devious man, killing more policemen would not have made any difference.
Is it possible that while several cops inside the SUV were injured, Vikas Dubey jumped out of it unscathed, on his feet, and then tried to escape by evading the cops in the other two vehicles?
I think Vikas Dubey must have been cushioned between cops to his left and right.
Normally, that is the case. When you have somebody to your left and right and when the vehicle overturns, you are protected by these people acting as shock absorbers.
The person on whom you fall after the vehicle overturns takes the full brunt of the shock. Therefore, Dubey had shock absorbers to his left and right.
So, it can happen that he may not have been injured at all.
In the television images that one saw of the overturned vehicle none of its doors were seen ajar.
If Vikas Dubey had actually escaped, he surely must not have closed the door after bolting out of the vehicle.
Given his limp and paunch, does it seem plausible that he actually jumped out of the window and ran towards the field?
The SUV too didn't suffer any serious damage.
Questions must be asked and questions will be raised by those who are concerned and think that this is a fake encounter. But there are three possibilities.
One, either the the windows panes were open or after the vehicle turned turtle (the glass must have) broken open and he escaped. Or he must have broken open the window panes and escaped.
What about policemen in the two other SUVs that were accompanying Vikas Dubey's vehicle?
Couldn't they have immediately swung into action and pinned Dubey down?
The distance between all the three vehicles couldn't have been more than 20 to 30 metres.
The distance could not be more, but probably given the shock and the numbness and the fatigue these cops had gone through it could have resulted in as delayed response.
But I can't condone that; they should have jumped out immediately and that is what they were there for.