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Vikas Dubey encounter: SC may consider appointing panel

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday said it may consider appointing a committee headed by a former judge to inquire into the encounters of gangster Vikas Dubey and his associates as well as the killing of eight policemen in Uttar Pradesh.

The Uttar Pradesh government told a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde that it would file a status report by July 16 detailing the steps taken by the authority on the matter.

The apex court was hearing the pleas on the incidents, including those seeking a court-monitored probe into the encounters. The bench, also comprising Justices R S Reddy and A S Bopanna, observed that monitoring of investigation is something which the court is very reluctant to do.

The bench said it may consider doing something similar to what was done in the case of encounter of four accused in the gang-rape and murder case of a veterinarian in Telangana. It had appointed an inquiry commission headed by a former apex court judge.

"List these matters on July 20. The petitioners-in-person are directed to serve a copy of their respective petition upon Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General appearing for the respondent(s), forthwith," the bench noted in its order.

It said that Mehta, who was appearing for Uttar Pradesh, "may file reply affidavit" on the pleas by July 16.

Eight policemen, including DSP Devendra Mishra, were ambushed in Bikru village in Chaubeypur area of Kanpur when they were going to arrest Dubey and fell to bullets fired from rooftops shortly after midnight on July 3. Dubey was killed in an encounter in the morning of July 10 when a police vehicle carrying him from Ujjain to Kanpur met with an accident and he tried to escape from the spot in Bhauti area, the police had said.

Four policemen, including an inspector posted in Nawabganj, were injured in the July 10 accident, IG, Kanpur Range, Mohit Agarwal had said.

The police claimed that Dubey, the prime accused in the ambush in which cops were killed, was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead.

Prior to Dubey's encounter, five of his alleged associated were killed in separate encounters. One of the pleas filed in the apex court by advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay has sought registration of an FIR and an apex court monitored probe by the CBI into the encounter of five co-accused, who were alleged to be associated with Dubey in the killing of policemen.

Another petition was filed by Delhi-based lawyer Anoop Praksah Awasthi, who has sought a court-monitored probe by CBI or NIA to "investigate/probe and prosecute the police-criminal-politician nexus in the killing of 8 police personnel in Uttar Pradesh...and every killing in encounter by police of the gang members of Vikas Dubey including his own killing on July 10".

On July 3, two of Dubey's alleged associates, Prem Prakash Pandey and Atul Dubey, were killed by police in an encounter in Kanpur, on July 8 the police killed Amar Dubey, who carried a reward of Rs 50,000, in Maudaha village in Hamirpur district.

On July 9, two more alleged aides –Kartikeya alias Prabhat and Praveen alias Bauwa Dubey –were killed in separate encounters in Kanpur and Etawah districts.

Meanwhile, an aide of Vikas Dubey has been arrested and two rifles of the Uttar Pradesh police looted during the Kanpur ambush earlier this month have been recovered, police said on Tuesday.

With this, all weapons looted during the ambush have been recovered, they said.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said Dubey's aide Shashikant alias Sonu Pandey was carrying a reward of Rs 50,000 on him. "Shashikant was an accused in the killing of eight policemen (in the Kanpur ambush). He was arrested from Chaubeypur around 2.50 am," the police officer said.

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