Lucknow : "The Special Task Force (STF) now has very bad script writers and the Vikas Dubey story proves it. Why would someone, who had surrendered on Thursday in Madhya Pradesh to escape being killed, try to escape on Friday," said a senior police officer, who has been one of the founding officers of the STF in Uttar Pradesh.
The functioning of the STF, which has been probing the July 3 incident in which eight policemen were killed, is now facing flak for its botched-up operations, including the killing of Vikas Dubey in an alleged encounter earlier in the day.
"The biggest failure of the STF is its failure to track down the gangster who was in Kanpur for two days after the massacre. We investigated a similar case of Shri Prakash Shukla in 1997-98 and tracked his every movement before the encounter. Dubey was using his mobile in between but the STF could not pin him down," the officer said.
Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav said: "The SUV has not overturned, it is the government that has overturned. The political links of the gangster have been quietly buried in the investigations and people will never know the truth."
Congress spokesman Surendra Rajput said: "Our fears have come true. After his surrender in Madhya Pradesh yesterday, I had voiced my apprehension whether Vikas Dubey would be brought back safely. The encounter theory of the STF is surprisingly similar. Both Prabhat (who was killed in encounter on Thursday) and Vikas were killed in police custody. The entire episode calls for a high-level inquiry."
A retired DGP, meanwhile, said that Vikas had been eliminated to save some political leaders.
"The entire scenario is crystal clear. His photographs with politicians, top government officers had been going viral on the social media and it is obvious that he was better dead than alive. The people know what is the truth and the issue will snowball into a major controversy.
Senior Congress leader Jitin Prasada said: "With the end of Vikas Dubey in custody, the government has ensured that the trail which would have exposed his nexus with people in positions of power who allowed criminals like him to flourish, has ended too."
Netizens, too are questioning the killing of Vikas Dubey.
Nilesh Pandit tweeted, "Surrender kiya tha fir kyu encounter kiya? (If he had surrendered then why kill him?)"
Surbhi Rajpoot tweeted, "Police killed Vikas Dubey in fake encounter to hide the face of corrupt bureaucrats and police."
Chaiti Narula tweeted, "He just knew too much. This is a classic suggestive sign of #VikasDubey knowing too much about too many politicians and the police force!"