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'For every gang, the financier is the kingpin'

By PRASANNA D ZORE
Last updated on: July 14, 2020 11:50 IST
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'In a gang, the person who controls the finances is the most important key person.'
'Cut the finances of a gang and it will vanish.'

IMAGE: Gangster Vikas Dubey after his arrest in Ujjain, July 9, 2020. A few hours later, on the morning of July 10, he was shot dead in a mysterious police encounter̀£, 30 km from Kanpur. Photograph: PTI Photo

"Vikas Dubey exploited the weaknesses of the system. He knew it is easier to buy the police, bureaucrats and politicians."

Dr Surya Pratap Singh, a retired IAS officer and social activist, explains the criminal-neta nexus in Uttar Pradesh to Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore in the second segment of a revealing multi-part interview:

 

IMAGE: Jay Vajpayee, left, in a yellow shirt, at the 13th day ceremony for senior Uttar Pradesh bureaucrat Awanish Awasthi's deceased father-in-law. Photograph: Kind courtesy Surya Pratap Singh

What made Jai Vajpayee so important for Vikas Dubey?
While one of Dubey's close associates Amar Dubey was killed in an encounter, Vajpayee was arrested from his home.
How important was this man for Vikas Dubey's empire of evil?

I've been hammering about it online and have antagonised a lot of bureaucrats and cops in the state. The bureaucrats at the highest level, those who are ruling the roost these days, are really angry with me. I have exposed their links with evidence.

Jai Vajpayee was arrested by design; he did not surrender.

It was made out that he was arrested from his house and was some sort of innocent person.

He was not part of the encounter (when eight policemen were killed on July 2 by Vikas Dubey and his henchmen) that took place. But he is a kingpin.

In a gang, the person who controls the finances is the most important key person.

Cut the finances of a gang and it will vanish. It's a very well known fact.

Jai was like the PR (public relations) man of the gang. He was with powerful bureaucrats like Awanish Awasthi (additional chief secretary, UP, with home and information portfolios); he was with the state unit BJP president; he was everywhere -- clicking photographs, attending marriage functions, organising them, birthday parties, spending huge money for cops, bureaucrats and politicians and currying favour from them for his boss Vikas Dubey.

There is this photograph of Vajpayee attending Awasthi's daughter's marriage ceremony; he was getting clicked with so many important people at the function.

You don't invite x, y, z for a marriage unless he is known to you; that too at a marriage attended by a select few people; a close family affair.

When Awasthi's father-in-law died, Vajpayee organised the 13th day event for Awasthi's wife, who is a celebrity, in memory of her father.

There, they photographed themselves donating food and other goodies to the needy. He publicised a banner on which Awasthi's wife's photograph was there.

Vajpayee claimed that the deceased was his chahchaji (uncle). Awasthi's wife never clarified that Vajpayee was not a relative.

That sends a message to the local level police that he (Vajpayee) is a relative of the home secretary and they start obliging him.

He also has photographs with the then SSP of Kanpur (Anant Deo, who was transferred as DIG, UP STF after a letter slain DSP Devendra Mishra had written three months ago, alleging that Deo had links with Vikas Dubey, surfaced). Vajpayee had such clout.

He's a moneyed man. He's a realtor.

He was not only a very important person for Dubey, but also for the top-level bureaucracy which saved him time and again.

Otherwise, he too could have been killed in an encounter.

IMAGE: Jay Vajpayee (extreme right, black jacket) photographed with Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party president Swatantra Dev Singh (second from right). Photograph: Kind courtesy Surya Pratap Singh

Will he emerge unscathed out of this?

Since he is alive, a favour is already granted to him (Vajpayee).

For the last 20, 25 years, Vikas Dubey learned the ropes of the game; he knew how to twist and manipulate the system.

Dubey exploited the weaknesses of the system. He knew it is easier to buy the police, bureaucrats and politicians.

He (Vajpayee) can interact well with polished bureaucrats, he can speak some English, he dresses well and he looks like a top marketing executive who projects the soft image of the gang.

He created the impression that Dubey was an innocent Robin Hood.

IMAGE: Jay Vajpayee (extreme right) with Awanish Awasthi (centre) at the marriage of the bureaucrat's daughter. Photograph: Kind courtesy Surya Pratap Singh

What was Jay Vajpayee's modus operandi?

For every gang, the financier is the kingpin.

The gang would extort the money and he was their treasurer.

He kept accounts of every penny invested in real estate, in industries, seeking favours from the administration, bribing them, providing luxury cars when needed, organising and financing family functions of relatives of cops and bureaucrats, attending ceremonies and in return seeking favours and protection from them.

The story that goes around in Kanpur is any top-level cop who comes to Kanpur, Vajpayee would become his blue-eyed boy.

Vajpayee was exclusively dealing with the cream from the system while other gang members dealt at the local police station level, spending largesse on constables, SHOs, etc.

He also expanded the gang's business into something like micro-financing and lending to smaller gangs in Uttar Pradesh and collecting money from them. That is a pretty huge business as well.

Vajpayee has the knack for communication, sensing new business opportunities for the gang, whitewashing its black money.

He would often buy or facilitate buying of disputed properties in Kanpur area. It is a huge metropolitan town now, for different gangs to make money out of it.

There would always be properties under dispute because of family issues or legal issues. He would buy such properties cheaply and sell them for a windfall.

Vajpayee knew that this business was a goldmine and he tapped it smartly for the Vikas Dubey gang.

That's what made Jay Vajpayee the second most important member of the gang.

IMAGE: Jay Vajpayee with then Kanpur SSP Anant Deo on various occasions. Photograph courtesy: Surya Pratap Singh

DSP Devendra Mishra reportedly wrote a letter to the then Kanpur SSP Anant Deo complaining about the high-handedness of local SHO Vinay Tiwari.
While the UP police is verifying the credentials of this letter, if true, what does it tell us about the police-criminal nexus?

Our system is so designed that at the thana (local police station) level, the SHO is more powerful than the DSP.

Now, there could be two sides even to this letter story.

One is CO (a DSP is also called as Circle officer, CO, in UP) Mishra was an honest person and didn't like Tiwari's hobnobbing with a criminal like Dubey.

He perhaps knew it well that Tiwari was conniving with Dubey and perhaps was his informer.

He may have written this letter out of his honesty and to attempt to cleanse the system, howsoever, in a small way, assuming that the SSP will pay heed to his letter.

Also, the system is such that the CO doesn't give posting to the SHO. It is done by the SSP.

SHOs these days connive with the SSPs and give money for postings at lucrative police stations.

It never used to happen earlier for a posting, but that is an everyday reality now.

This alleged letter could also be Mishra's way of excusing himself if things were to explode at Tiwari's end.

Dubey must have thought that with the SHO and other senior cops on his side, he had no use for the DSP.

Perhaps, to get back at Dubey, Mishra may have written the letter and that must have rubbed Dubey and Tiwari the wrong way.

The main problem was a recent FIR, filed against Dubey under Section 307 of the IPC, an attempt to murder charge, that was lodged against Dubey at the local police station where Tiwari was the SHO.

When Dubey got annoyed with the SHO, he (Tiwari) named DSP Mishra as the person responsible for that FIR and passed the buck.

It was now Dubey's job to rein Mishra in. Perhaps, Dubey might have thought of eliminating Mishra.

What makes SHOs more powerful than DSPs at the local thana level?

The SHO is a very powerful instrument in our policing system. It has emerged as a very powerful post.

The reason being that SHOs have started having direct links with chief ministers. They are being posted at the instance of chief ministers. It had happened during all the previous governments.

Our present chief minister -- Yogi Adityanath -- is very fond of SHOs. He knows several SHOs by their names.

So if the SSP or DIG or IG knows that a particular SHO knows the chief minister and vice versa, that the SHO has a direct link to the chief minister, they would never dare touching him and he becomes a powerful instrument.

In the entire state, SHOs have become very powerful. They connive with local politicians and get favours for victimising those who don't vote for the politician.

The police are being made an instrument for winning elections, currying favours and passing it on to the politicians.

There have been so many instances where they openly defy the DSP, SSP, the DIG.

According to our law, the SHO has the power to file an FIR, but an SSP cannot, the DIG cannot. The superiors can only direct the SHO to file an FIR, but the FIR-filing authority is with the SHO.

Is that what made Vinay Tiwari more powerful than say DSP Devendra Mishra?

Correct. Tiwari was powerful, but something seems to have gone wrong with the last FIR filed against Dubey under Section 307.

Perhaps, it was one of those days when the DSP (Mishra) prevailed over the SHO (Tiwari) and made him file an FIR against Dubey. Sometimes, you get your way.

He must have got an order from the ASP (additional SP) or the SSP to file an FIR against Tiwari's wishes. That must have annoyed Tiwari intensely.

Tiwari knew if he filed an FIR against Dubey because of force from his superiors, Dubey would get wild with him. And that is what happened.

Perhaps, that could have also led to Dubey and Tiwari conniving to eliminate Mishra.

Remember, that while the other cops died of bullet wounds, Mishra was axed to death.

Mishra's murder shows vengeance. Perhaps, they did not want to kill so many cops. They just wanted to kill Mishra. The others were collateral damage.

When you spray bullets you don't know who and how many got killed.

Feature Production: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com

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