The police party escorting gangster Vikas Dubey from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh to Kanpur had to "fire back in self-defence" as he tried to escape and was killed, the Uttar Pradesh government has said in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court.
The UP government has constituted a 3-member SIT, headed by UP additional chief secretary Sanjay Bhoosreddy on July 11, to look into the crimes committed by the dreaded gangster and the alleged collusion between Dubey, police and politicians, the affidavit said.
Dubey was killed in the encounter on July 10.
"The only option available to the escort party, under the circumstances was to fire back in self-defence," Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Hitesh Chandra Awasthy, in the affidavit filed on behalf of the state, on a plea seeking a court-monitored probe by the CBI or the NIA into the encounter killing.
The top police officer denied that Dubey had surrendered at Ujjain and said that the accused who was on the run was identified at the Mahakaal Temple by the Samiti authorities as well as the policemen at the temple premises.
The DGP also dealt with the question as to why Dubey was not handcuffed and said, "There were 15 police personnel and 3 vehicles to escort the accused directly to the court at Kanpur. He had to be produced at Kanpur within 24 hours before court which deadline was expiring at 10 am on July 10".
The affidavit said: "These facts are explained in detail only with one objective of satisfying this court that deceased Vikas Dubey not only had a strong reason and motive to flee away from police custody (as he attempted to do on July 10) but had the capacity, potential and experience of attacking the police personnel and killing them which in fact happened on July 10, when he tried to escape and fire at the police party when prevented."
On July 14, the top court had said it may consider appointing a committee headed by a former judge to inquire into the encounters of Dubey and his associates as well as the killing of eight policemen in Uttar Pradesh like it did in the case of Hyderabad encounter in gang rape and murder case of last year.
"The government has directed the SIT to submit its inquiry report to the government before July 31, 2020, after vising the scene of crime and other related places...," it said.
Awasthy said the state authorities have acted strictly in accordance with the law and the guidelines laid down by the top court in its 2014 verdict in PUCL case and intimated NHRC and SHRC within 24 hours of the incident which clearly shows complete lack of mala fides on the part of police.
He said the government has taken serious cognizance of all events and constituted a commission of enquiry headed by a former Allahabad high court Judge.
"The government of Uttar Pradesh holds the incident of the night of July 2 and July 10 linked to Vikas Dubey and his associates, and all the encounters between the given dates as issues of public importance and hence the state government has appointed a judicial panel of Justice (retd) Shashi Kant Agarwal as a single member commission of Inquiry, the affidavit said, adding that commission is required to complete the probe within two month from July 12.
Dubey on July 2 had massacred eight policemen on duty and had brutally cut the circle officer's leg after shooting him dead, Awasthy said.
"This clearly demonstrate that a dreaded gangster, who massacred and brutally mutilated bodies of eight policemen to escape while being on parole, had all the reasons, motive, object and capacity to escape taking advantage of an accident which took place en route," he said.
He said the facts of the present case are completely and diametrically different from the facts emerging in last year's Hyderabad encounter of four accused in gang rape and murder case of a veterinary doctor as Dubey was a hardened criminal with 64 cases against him.
He highlighted several differences between the two encounters.
"It is relevant to point out that for over 30 years, Vikas Dubey and his 'Bullet Gang' had created a notorious lair of crime and terror in the State of Uttar Pradesh. He was a gang leader of registered Gang D-124", the affidavit said.
On the July 2, incident it said: "There were about 80-90 criminals and gang members of gangster Vikas Dubey who were stationed on several housetops at strategic locations and who started indiscriminate firing at the police party which was ambushed in a pre-meditated manner by placing a JCB machine with an open hatch to block the road and force the police party to disembark and become easy targets."
The DGP further stated that the motive of Dubey was not only to flee (as he was on parole) but also to kill the policemen to create terror in the minds of the people as well as the police.
"It will be shocking to note that the DSP was shot five times, out of which three bullets passed through his body. One bullet hit his head, one in the chest, one ankle joint and two in the stomach.
"Apart from this, deceased Vikas Dubey and his gang members had also brutally cut the Circle Officers (late) Devender Mishra's leg after shooting him dead. All the bullets were fired on the police party from point-black range," the affidavit said.