Rule of lawlessness

UP is a metaphor for all that is wrong with us

Rule of lawlessness

Nothing better exemplifies the collapse of rule of law in India than the daylight murder of gangster Vikas Dubey in Uttar Pradesh on Friday morning. The entire Vikas Dubey episode beginning with the ambush and massacre of eight cops, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Mishra, on July 3, reeks of the rot in the UP society, which celebrates the politician-police-gangster nexus. The so-called encounter between Dubey and cops on their way from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh to Kanpur prima facie appears to be an extra-judicial murder as it follows the UP Police’s standard operating script in dealing with certain inconvenient criminals.

In the last one week, five of Dubey’s accomplices were shot dead, of which at least one was caught and then killed as he attempted to snatch a cop’s weapon when the vehicle stalled with a flat tyre. According to the same script, Dubey tried to snatch a gun when the vehicle he was travelling in overturned, leading to his custodial killing. But there are gaping holes in this story: news reports suggest that the police stopped TV crews following the convoy shortly before the shootout and more curiously, Dubey seemed to have been shifted from one vehicle to another according to CCTV footage from a toll plaza. The arrest from Ujjain itself was staged for all to see. Or else, how could a scheming, cop-killing gangster suddenly appear alone and unarmed, after crossing four state borders, to be so easily ‘overpowered’ by two temple guards?

Dubey and his key associates have been silenced. Now, it is difficult to prove who tipped him off about the raiding party headed by DSP Mishra, or at whose behest he mowed down the cops, or who offered him political patronage to remain at large despite 60-odd cases, including murder. More importantly, we will never know all that Dubey did for his political masters. The UP model justice delivery system is instant and foolproof: the real criminals in khaki and khadi never get caught. The UP Government is a metaphor for all that is wrong with this country’s governance.

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