License to Kill

The Incident 

Recently there was an incident in which 8 UP Police personnel were killed, in response UP police along with Police of 10 other states launched a week long massive manhunt which ultimately led to the killing of main accused Vikas Dubey in an encounter by UP police. Police patted their back, citizens lauded the action, everyone was happy that justice got served.Message was delivered to criminals that police have the license to kill, better behave. 

But more often than not truth is more dramatic than fiction. On the surface sure it looks like justice was done, but did the cops who died got justice or their death was merely avenged? Killing Vikas Dubey was an act of justice or vengeance. 

You may wonder what difference it makes, how Dubey was killed. He was a criminal, he got what he deserved. Well there’s a subtle difference between justice and vengeance. 

Justice means people get what they deserve following a due process of law while Vengeance means people get what you think they deserve without following the law. 


This is not the first time such incident had occurred, one Google search will show you thee history of such “heroic encounters” the most recent one being the killing of 4 Hyderabad rape accused in December last year. The difference though is that in recent times citizens have started to accept it as a new form of justice, they are cheering along. What surprised me most about this recent incident is the sheer banality of the story UP Police came up with, it was so predictable. The state was confident that no matter what version we go with citizens will accept it and looking at the response, you can’t blame them for their lack of creativity. Citizens knew all along how this would end and they accepted it as a state response trying to maintain law and order. 

Citizens are not at fault here. The kind of broken judiciary system India has, where people like Vikas Dubey can kill a politician in 2001 inside a police station and can live a perfectly normal life up until 2020, one can’t blame citizens for their lack of trust in judiciary. Nirbhaya’s mom waited for 12 year to get justice. 

For a long time we have seen it and cheered along with such actions in Hindi movies such as Gangajal or Singham. It was only a matter of time when we would have accepted it as the only possible solution in real life also. 

The Root cause of the problem 

Sure Vikas Dubey was a criminal, but if we go in the past and map his rise to power, it will show us the nexus between gangster, politician and police. This nexus is so strong that it had made judiciary obsolete and this is just the tip of the problem, more than 30% of our sitting MPs has criminal charges like rape, murder, dacoity against them. Vikas Dubey was just a pawn, real Knight and King are still unknown and the idea behind his encounter was to protect the King and Knight so the game could go on! 

Another cause of the problem is no reforms in the working system of Indian police since Independence. Britishers made law regarding Police so that state can punish and act against its own citizen which is no longer needed. 

Here is some fact about Indian police 

In response to an RTI filed by First post, the National Human Rights Commission said that it had recorded 1,782 cases of fake encounters in India during a period of 2000- 2017. UN human rights experts have expressed concern about allegations of at least 59 extra-judicial killings by police in Uttar Pradesh since March 2017. It’s time we address the elephant in the room that Police in India is no longer functioning for the citizen and major reforms is the need of an hour 

The Solution 

We live in a vibrant democracy, where certain laws are made to ensure that the state does not end up into anarchy. Article 21 of the constitution guarantees one the right to life unless ordered otherwise by the judiciary under due process of law. The Kathua rape case accused Vishal Jangotra was later on acquitted by the court, because he not killed in an encounter by police, but in recent times the encounter policy has been cheered and welcomed as some sort of answer to the state incapability of maintaining law and order. 

Think about it, where does this stop, tomorrow someone innocent like Vishal Jangotra may be killed and we will not be able to do anything, like we were not able to do anything to save Fenix and Jayraj. What’s stopping this nexus form coming for you, or someone you know? India deserves much better, the citizens deserve much better than this, but for that to happen citizens have to show courage and demand Justice from the state because the game would continue until the King and Knight are not destroyed under due process of law.

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  1. In my opinion police reform will still take a lot of time and even if reforms done it is more likely that it will serve more to government in power than to common citizens, looking at the trends of current reforms. Lokpal and lokayukts appointed but didnt heard that they resolved any corruption case. In my view two things need to be done as soon as possible. 1) Bar appointment of any higher offical to any other post after retirement. “Ex-cji appointed to rajya sabha, EC lavasa appointed to Asian development bank.” 2) From senior superitendent of police to DGP level provide them all govt. Facility till their death. This will ensure that they do not from nexus with politicians to get benefit after retirement and will have a secure life till death.

  2. In my opinion vikas dubey case should be handled by CBI and accused of killing of all 8 police men should be behind the bar . The govt should constitute a committee comprises ex judge of high court and some senior police to investigate in such kind of heinous crime and the accused should be punished whether it is police or any criminal so that there will be a believe of law in indians

  3. This article is an eye-opening one’.We all unite for justice in such cases of Nirbhaya or Hyderabad rape, But is this enough?.There are strict laws in IPC and rapists are being executed, even then india is becoming rape capital and crimes are increasing day by day. Judiciary has to ensure the police and government is doing their actual duties,if any one goes wrong they have to be warned and punished,Then only every citizen will get justice-
    If something has to be changed it is not laws, the police and authorities has to take strict action even it is done by a political leader or by any minister without looking who they are…………

    Because poor people has no power to influence.

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