The encounter killing of gangster Vikas Dubey on Friday morning triggered sharp attacks by most of the opposition parties against the Uttar Pradesh government and the police, with the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party seeking a judicial probe by a Supreme Court judge into the incident to expose the alleged political-criminal nexus in the state.
Dubey was shot dead on Friday by the police, who claimed he was trying to flee after the car carrying him from Ujjain overturned on the outskirts of the city.
The opposition parties also alleged that the gangster was killed to protect the UP government.
While Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said the car did not topple but it was to save the government from toppling, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted 'dead men tell no tales #VikasDubey'.
However, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut wondered why the police action was being questioned, and said there was no need to shed tears over the killing of a gangster.
Alleging that Uttar Pradesh has become synonymous with 'goondaraj' and criminals like Dubey were allowed to move around freely in the state, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the killing of the gangster in an encounter raises several questions and sought answers on who were the people sitting in echelons of power who were granting protection to criminals like him.
"Congress demands that the unholy nexus between organised crime and the ilk of Vikas Dubey with those sitting in the echelons of power be probed by a sitting Supreme Court judge," Surjewala said at a press conference.
Demanding a judicial probe by a sitting SC judge into the entire Kanpur episode in which eight policemen were killed by Dubey, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, "The truth about those who nurtured and protected criminals like Vikas Dubey should come out.
"Till the time this truth and the nexus between politicians and criminals does not come out, justice will not be done to those eight policemen who were killed by him."
BSP supremo Mayawati also demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the encounter killing of gangster Vikas Dubey, and wanted the inquiry to cover the killing of eight policemen last week in an ambush allegedly masterminded by Dubey.
'There should be an unbiased probe under the supervision of the Supreme Court into the killing of policemen in Kanpur and the encounter of main accused Vikas Dubey while he was trying to flee when the police vehicle overturned,' Mayawati said in a tweet in Hindi.
She further tweeted that 'this high-level probe is necessary for ensuring justice to eight policemen killed in Kanpur and to identify the nexus between police and criminal political elements. By such steps, UP can become crime free.'
Raising questions on the encounter, Yadav said the car did not topple but it was an effort to save the government from toppling if secrets were revealed.
'Darasal ye car nahi palti, raj khulne se sarkar palatne se bachai gayi hai (Actually, the car did not topple. The government has been saved from toppling if secrets were revealed),' Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also tweeted a Urdu couplet to take a swipe at the UP government, saying that the silence of a person has kept the respect of many questions. However, he did not mention the encounter.
Striking a different chord, Raut told PTI, "Dubey had killed eight policemen. Attack on the uniform means there is no law and order. Taking strict action is the need of that state's police be it in Maharashtra or Uttar Pradesh."
"There is no need to shed tears over the killing of Dubey in an encounter. Why is the police action being questioned?" the Rajya Sabha MP said.
Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra came down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government, saying justice is the 'only thing killed' in Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's 'encounter raj'.
'It is the job of the courts to deliver justice. It is the job of the police to deliver the accused. Shocking that India under BJP has confused the two,' Moitra said in a tweet.
'Only thing killed in Yogiji's 'encounter Raj' is justice!' she added.
Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav alleged that the police's claim of killing Dubey in an encounter seems to be 'fake' as he could have disclosed many big 'secrets'.
'This encounter (killing) of Vikas Dubey seems to be fake and straight out of a film. This is an illegal way. This man could have disclosed many big secrets like who sheltered him... Those who sheltered him are as much to blame as Vikas Dubey and the country needed to know them,' Yadav said.
Gangster Vikas Dubey was shot dead Friday by police, who claimed he was trying to flee after the car carrying him from Ujjain overturned on an isolated stretch of the highway on the outskirts of the city.
The car was part of a small convoy of police vehicles.
Police also said the gangster snatched a pistol from one of the policemen injured in the accident and was shot when he opened fire while trying to flee, an account being questioned by opposition parties.
Six policemen, including two from the Special Task Force, were hurt in the accident and the exchange of fire around 6 am, an official said.
Dubey was the sixth man to die in a police encounter after the ambush he allegedly masterminded in Kanpur's Bikru village past midnight on July 2, killing eight policemen who had come to arrest him.
Madhya Pradesh police arrested Vikas Dubey outside the Mahakal temple in Ujjain on Thursday morning and was later handed over to a police team from the UP.