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  Opinion   Columnists  11 Jul 2020  Shobhaa De | Gangsterism in politics: Vikas Dubey in UP's Wild West

Shobhaa De | Gangsterism in politics: Vikas Dubey in UP's Wild West

Irreverent, provocative, opinionated... Shobhaa De has been challenging status quo for four decades... and is at her best when she punctures inflated egoes. Readers can send feedback to
Published : Jul 11, 2020, 6:38 pm IST
Updated : Jul 11, 2020, 6:38 pm IST

Dubey’s subsequent arrest and murder are clearly a part of the huge coverup, now that the game is up

Police inspect the encounter site where gangster Vikas Dubey was killed when he allegedly tried to escape from the spot following an accident, near Kanpur. PTI Photo
 Police inspect the encounter site where gangster Vikas Dubey was killed when he allegedly tried to escape from the spot following an accident, near Kanpur. PTI Photo

Headline on Wednesday, July 10: Vikas Dubey arrested. Shabaash. Breaking news a little later: Vikas Dubey shot dead. Wah! Badhiya hai! How convenient. Let’s check out the various and very imaginative versions of this bloody drama.

The man with a murderous past was apparently “caught” by a security guard at Ujjain’s Mahakal temple, after he and his wife bought prasad and performed aarti. The criminal on the run crossed several checkposts and travelled undetected across four states before getting nabbed. All of this sounds bogus to me.


A man who has been running a parallel state within a state for years in Yogi Adityanath’s Wild West territory, also known as Uttar Pradesh, gets picked up a few days later in another state (Madhya Pradesh) and then the “usual” happens! He gets shot trying to “escape” from a police party when a vehicle overturns! All this action takes place seven days after his henchmen ambush and gun down eight policemen in cold blood. Relax, everyone!

Now that the mastermind behind the attack has been bumped off, we will never get to know what exactly happened or why.

Let’s say it was a huge setup, with betrayals, informers, and political connivance involved. Nobody would dare to ambush and open fire on men in vardi, without being guaranteed protection by political bosses. Even the most hardened criminals hesitate before taking on the men in uniform. Dubey’s subsequent arrest and murder are clearly a part of the huge coverup, now that the game is up. It sounds like the most brazen and audacious political charade.


A total eyewash… and complete hogwash. The same men, from the same party that was working hand in glove with the criminal, seem to have struck a deal with political bosses of another party, and smoothly staged the arrest and encounter killing, but only after doing a deal with Vikas Dubey himself. Endgame!

This is how it has always worked in India. Nothing new about this narrative. There’s a blurred line between netas and goondas, political bosses and hardcore criminals – this is true across parties. In fact, it’s pretty hard to distinguish one lot (gangsters) from the other (netas).

Sometimes, very rarely, the situation gets completely out of hand -- as it did in Dubey’s case. All hell breaks loose, but only for a while. You can be sure while citizens are kept distracted with hocus pocus stories about the valour and efficiency of the police party involved in the drama, frantic negotiations are taking place simultaneously between the criminal’s family, his gang members and their political patrons.


During the time all these hardworking folks are busy cutting deals and managing the division of loot, others are busy buying time, till all the stolen monies are secured and the incriminatory trails are fixed. This time is very precious indeed. It’s like the golden hour in medical terminology. Millions are at stake, and several mighty political reputations on the line.

The stash has to be protected at all costs, as also the identities of the political bosses for whom criminals like Vikas Dubey work. The money trail must be hastily covered up and as much evidence destroyed as possible. This needs the intervention of experts and techies, who can efficiently destroy files and create alibis. Generally, 48 hours are sufficient for eliminating all compromising evidence. Some inconvenient people can also be blown away along the way.


The few that are left behind can be managed with pressure from the investigating agencies. One just has to lean on them. In return for such big favours, the rewards are pretty impressive and there’s a well-understood modus operandi to fix remaining loopholes. The heat is turned up, only after all these areas are sealed. The rest is pure drama, scripted by intelligence officers and corrupt bureaucrats. It is an eyewash that only the gullible believe.

The ludicrous sequence of Dubey’s arrest and death has been better choreographed than some clumsier encounters from the past. It started with Dubey’s nephew being shot dead, with two compromised cops and four aides getting hauled in. Errrrr… the nephew has been the gangster’s shadow for the longest time. But of course nobody could find him… till now.


Gangsterism runs in the family and is conducted like any business across India. The rule of terror unleashed is so dreadful, not a single police thana dares to intrude into the well- fortified dens of men like Dubey, with heavily armed “soldiers” protecting the don. Gangsters live their lives with complete impunity, with nobody to fear. Successive governments kowtow to them and openly display solidarity, by attending wedding and family functions. The looted money is shared by whichever neta happens to be in power.

Take a look at some of the photographs floating around of Dubey with several political leaders.

The multi-billion dollar question is this: Why has nobody as much as tried to crack the D-Gang nexus? For decades one heard stories about how seamlessly this global network of some of the most dangerous people alive operates. D-Gang watchers also know about the multiple business interests and dealings that have gone on without a break all these years.


The names of heavyweight politicians and movie stars who are business partners with underworld goons come up periodically. Despite all the buzz around these nefarious activities, no action is ever taken, nor any investigations launched. Whether it involves airline deals, real estate or Bollywood -- dhanda merrily stays dhanda -- no questions asked.

It’s a wonder Dubey was nabbed in the first place. Citizens were pretty certain he’d be provided safe passage out of India -- as have many other hardcore criminals before him. Making Dubey an example must have been an afterthought… and only because of the brazenness with which the sitting duck policemen were gunned down.


Those who tipped off the gangster about the raid have already been taken care of. Watch out for a fresh bunch of suspects who will be paraded before the media, and made to take the rap, while shielding the political patrons who set up the ambush in the first place, believing they’d get away with it yet again.

Well, they almost did! But like with everything else in life, it’s payout time now. Someone’s head has got to roll. Let it be Dubey’s…while his political bosses have the last laugh, which is, as always, on us!

Tags: vikas dubey encounter