The notorious gangster, Vikas Dubey, who was arrested from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh was killed in an encounter in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, 10th of July 2020. According to the police, while he was being transported to Uttar Pradesh, the convoy met with an accident. While police officials lay injured, Vikas Dubey tried to snatch their weapons and escape. In the process of trying to stop him, he was shot and killed.
The encounter of Vikas Dubey invited mixed reactions. While some said that Vikas Dubey had met his fate, rightly so, for brutally killing 8 police officials of the Uttar Pradesh police, others questioned the validity of police taking matters into their own hands, while doubting the credibility of the police’s version of what led to the encounter.
However, only a day before, The Wire was spinning a completely different yarn. An article published in The Wire insinuated that Yogi Adityanath was ‘casteist’ because in his ‘encounter raj’, a ‘Brahmin’ gangster would never be encountered and killed.
The Wire article starts with Yogi Adityanath’s legendary statement that criminals will not be spared. He had said that anyone committing a crime would be hammered (‘thoke jayenge’). One recalls how Yogi Adityanath in 2017 had said that criminals in Uttar Pradesh will either be jailed or killed in encounters. The article then goes on to talk about various tough statements made by not just Yogi Adityanath but even police personnel in the state.
It is after a long elaboration on what everyone knew was Yogi Adityanath’s public stance, The Wire started peddling a sinister agenda.
At this point, it would almost seem like The Wire cannot decide whether they support the practise of extra-judicial encounters, whether a result of circumstances or otherwise, or whether they consider it a human rights violation. Either way, The Wire insinuates that most people encountered in the state have been low rung, petty criminals and that none of the most wanted criminals have ever been encountered in the state.
The Wire then takes their propaganda further.
The Wire makes very clear insinuations here:
- The Yogi Adityanath government had no intention of going after Vikas Dubey
- The Yogi Adityanath government went only after Muslims and Dalits
- The Yogi Adityanath government went after petty criminals, not the ones who were ‘connected’
The entire premise of the article was shattered well before the encounter itself.
The premise of the article is that the Yogi government goes only after Muslims and Dalits, however, if the Yogi government had no intention of nabbing Vikas Dubey, the initial raid itself would not have been set up.
It is pertinent to note here that in all these years, while the Samajwadi Party ruled, Vikas Dubey ran amuck with impunity and no coercive action against him. It was only during the Yogi Adityanath reign that a raid was conducted where an attempt was made to nab Dubey. In the process, 8 policemen were brutally murdered and then, a manhunt was launched as a result of which, Dubey was nabbed in Madhya Pradesh.
Further, after the encounter, the entire narrative of The Wire where it attempted to allege that Yogi Adityanath was ‘casteist’ for not killing Vikas Dubey in an encounter lies shattered as is.
However, one has to wonder why The Wire would publish such an article in the first place. The Yogi Adityanath government’s intention to inflict the strictest punishment on Vikas Dubey was rather evident from the raid that was carried out. After 8 police officers were killed, it was also a foregone conclusion that the police would not sit idly by after their brethren were slaughtered by the history-sheeter. What could possibly convince an editor to publish an article like the one published by The Wire, perhaps knowing fully well that they might end up severely embarrassed in the coming days?
Presumably and rather evidently, The Wire did not want Vikas Dubey to meet his fate. The narrative against Yogi Adityanath has been one that has been as severe and persistent as the one against PM Modi while he was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Seen as a leader who is not afraid to be politically incorrect and flex his muscles when the thugs take to the street, CM Yogi has repeatedly proven that he couldn’t possibly care less about the media or what it thinks about him, even if he tried.
By publishing this article, The Wire presumably aimed to exert pressure on Yogi Adityanath to ensure that no harm befalls Vikas Dubey. The reason behind this could be multiple. It is entirely possible that The Wire wanted Vikas Dubey, a notorious gangster to be alive, well and free so that their diatribe against Yogi could continue unabated. If Vikas Dubey had managed to escape or stay alive, The Wire would have found another, long-running trope against the saffron-clad Yogi who they love to hate. They would repeat ad-nauseum that Yogi Adityanath was a casteist and bigot who confidently took action against Muslims during the anti-CAA riots but got cold feet when it came to a gangster who was a ‘Brahmin’.
Further, they would have also peddled the theory that Dubey was ‘allowed to escape’ because he knew several secrets about the political class and hence, the UP govt never wanted him in custody in the first place. They would have conveniently forgotten that only a day before, Vikas Dubey’s mother had categorically stated that Dubey was a part of the Samajwadi Party. In fact, his wife too was a part of SP. They had no connections with the BJP directly whatsoever.
This little fact would have been hidden and every attempt would be made to insinuate, slyly, that Vikas Dubey was somehow connected to the BJP.
In essence, by shooting a bullet into Vikas Dubey’s chest, the Yogi Adityanath government seems to have dodged a media bullet that was headed straight for it.
Whether one believes in the principle of neutralising gangsters in encounters or not, whether one believes the UP police’s version of events or not, the one thing that has been proven beyond doubt, in this case, is that Yogi Adityanath’s fight against crime does not depend on a person’s faith or caste. And it certainly won’t be affected by what the likes of The Wire want.