Vikas Dubey was arrested from the Mahakal temple in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain on Thursday morning. (Source: ANI)
Back in 2001, allegedly chased a BJP leader who then had minister of state rank in UP, Santosh Shukla, inside Shivli police station in Kanpur Dehat, and shot him dead in broad daylight.
Dubey was named in the FIR, and he surrendered after some six months – but was acquitted four years later. The gunner, shadow, and personal staff of the murdered man gave statements in Dubey’s favour.
Two years previously, in 1999, Dubey had allegedly killed one Jhunna Baba in his village and grabbed his land and other properties. In 2000, he was accused in the murder of his teacher and retired principal of the local Tara Chand Inter College, and jailed for some time.
The murder of Santosh Shukla brought Dubey stature, and he started to receive political support. In 2002, he allegedly made an unsuccessful attempt on the life of his rival and Nagar Panchayat adhyaksha Lallan Bajpai. Subsequently, Dubey was linked to the murder of a cable operator named Dinesh Dubey, who was allegedly killed over a dispute about Rs 20,000.
In an interview given in 2006, Dubey said he had been pradhan of Bikru village for 10 years, after which he became a member of the zilla panchayat, while his younger brother was elected unopposed to the post of gram pradhan of the neighbouring Bheeti village. His brother’s wife was then a zila panchayat member, and his brother became the pradhan of Bikru village.
Bikru, near Kanpur, is Dubey’s village. It was here that eight men from a police party that had gone to arrest him during the night of July 2-3, were murdered by his men, leading to the manhunt that ended in Dubey’s arrest in Ujjain on Thursday.
There are 62 criminal cases against Dubey in UP, including five cases of murder and eight cases of attempt to murder. Police have invoked tough laws such as the UP Gangsters’ Act, Goonda Act, and the National Security Act against him.
Except for a case each in Saharanpur and Lucknow, all cases were lodged in Kanpur and Kanpur Dehat districts. In Saharanpur, Dubey was booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, and in Lucknow under the Arms Act. He has been acquitted in the Saharanpur case, while the Lucknow case remains pending, police said.
The first of the cases against Dubey was of physical assault, lodged at Shivli police station in Kanpur Dehat back in 1990. Two years later, he was booked for the murder of a Dalit youth in the Shivli police station area. He has been acquitted in both these cases.
Police filed a chargesheet in Santosh Shukla’s murder in 2002, and named eight accused, including Dubey and three policemen. “In 2003, all the accused were acquitted by a local court for want of evidence,” a police officer said. An appeal was filed in Allahabad High Court in 2005. Directions have been issued to check the status of that case, UP DGP H C Awasthi said.
In the murder of retired school principal Siddheshwar Pandey (65) in 2000, Dubey was accused of conspiracy. The chargesheet named four persons including Dubey. “A local court in 2004 awarded life imprisonment to all accused. One of them is dead, and the others are out on bail,” an officer of Shivli police station said.