The Congress is frustrated because of failing to make electoral inroads in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party said on Wednesday, after its political rival accused the ruling party of having an anti-Brahmin mindset in reference to the radically contrasting fates of gangster-turned-politicians Mukhtar Ansari and Vikas Dubey. Ansari, who is a Bahujan Samaj Party MLA, was ferried to a UP jail this week by the state police, on the orders of the Supreme Court, from a Punjab prison where he spent two years. A similar road trip ended very differently for Dubey. While he was being driven back after being held in Madhya Pradesh, the vehicle was involved in an accident on July 10 last year and the mob boss snatched a pistol from a policeman in a bid to escape before being killed, UP authorities had said.
“One criminal is safely escorted back to Banda jail…but Vikas Dubey was killed. There is no doubt that Vikas Dubey was a criminal but he should have been punished as per law for his crimes,” UP Congress spokesperson Anshu Awasthi told News18.
Dubey was on the run since he organised the massacre of policemen at his village in Kanpur on July 3, 2020. A large team of policemen who went to Bikru village to arrest him in an attempted murder case was caught by surprise when there was indiscriminate firing from rooftops. Eight personnel were killed in the ambush after the gangster was allegedly tipped off by a local police inspector.
Opposition parties have been accusing the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh of using the police to orchestrate staged encounters of ‘inconvenient’ criminals and have suggested that Dubey was killed because he was a Brahmin and did not belong to the chief minister’s Kshatriya clan.
“The discrimination that the BJP and Yogi Adityanath government is doing shows that they are misusing power. They are trying to run law and order as per their own will,” Awasthi said. “I would like to appeal to all my Brahmin brothers to take care of themselves. The mindset of the BJP and Yogi Adityanath is evident from the way Vikas Dubey was killed and how criminals are now being escorted safely to the state.”
Ansari was ferried in an ambulance guarded by a strong posse of gun-toting security personnel throughout his 900-km journey from Rupnagar to Banda jail in Uttar Pradesh. The Supreme Court had noted that the 57-year-old was allegedly involved in cases of murder, attempt to murder, cheating and conspiracy, apart from offences under the Gangsters Act, and that his custody was being denied to the Uttar Pradesh Police on trivial grounds under the guise of medical issues. The BJP-run Uttar Pradesh government had accused the Congress government in Punjab of shielding Ansari.
Reacting to the Congress allegations, UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, “The Congress is frustrated as it doesn’t see itself gaining ground in Uttar Pradesh. That is why now they are taking the casteism route, like their old friends the SP and BSP. The Yogi Adityanath government in the state has cracked down on criminals without any discrimination. Those who tried to open fire on police were replied to in the same manner.”