Our bureaucratic system breeds corruption and as a result, is born a criminal who is fed by the political affiliations and keeps himself safe with the sold rice bags of our delayed justice system and administrative negligence/overpowering.
The roots of Gundaraj in UP can be traced back to the times of 1980’s and 90’s when sand mafias, coal mafias were on upsurge. Their political affiliations were secondary affairs, primary being their enhanced fletching of muscular and monetary power At that time, gross inequality dominated the society, certain factors such as – class intersectionality where upper class and Bahubalis used to influence administration and governance in an unparallel way, disparity in income level, poverty and hunger crisis lead to the rise of a system where many chose the illegal ways to fight the prevailing situation or voluntarily became a part of it and then fell prey to the labyrinth of power-play.
For power game, money was as essential as connections in administration, as a result of which auctions and tenders became very susceptible to the deep-rooted corruption where staircase followed from district departments to Delhi offices. In the due process, regional aspirations were suppressed under the garb of politics, money and power, which marked the saga of Purvanchal politics which then followed to the other parts of UP as well. Toppling of successive governments over administrative failures and caste issues were among the foremost reasons behind the uprise of these mafias which later found the refugee in active politics through the backstage entry.
On contrary to the general notion that politicians harbor criminals, my readings and observation makes me conclude that criminal is never dependent on political shade but interdependent on the three-round circles: politicians-criminals-bureaucratic nexus. Some facts are hard to swallow but some are even harder to think of and therefore it is said: facts don’t care about feelings, one such is: “Our bureaucratic and administrative divisions create a nexus b/w legal and non-legal entities to solidify the groundwork; and do what is necessary but can’t be done in a administrative-legal manner as it requires time and resources which is scarce in the fast-paced administrative race”. To call these mafias as OGW and UGW of administrators won’t be surprising. From using them as human surveillance (mukhbir) to accessing their influential power in order to extort money from complainants and quash investigations to avoid hullabaloo has been a normal scenario, especially in lower rank offices/departments.
Successive governments have been giving safe passages to the criminals for they are the one who use them for personal wrangle during their term in state assemblies and then at the time of elections to strike the balance with opposition forces and get funding for party electoral campaigns.
Long-drawn police reforms then and now are very much in the hands of political statures. This safeguard passage to the criminal is provided through the lanes of bureaucratic means.
Taking the example of recent encounter of Vikas Dubey where it was reported that he had been an active criminal since 1990, from his college days. Hailing from the city he belonged, I often heard how Vikas used his influences against the police as he was in a very dear alliance with them, in a two-way manner. His connections in secretariat offices and Vidhan Bhavan in Lucknow weren’t new, but dates back to the early phases of the 2000’s when he was known for his political and bureaucratic syncretism. All the cases he had on his heads were either unreported or if they were, then later he was found to be a non-guilty on the bases of lack of evidence, take into cognizance the murder of then BJP MLA Santosh Shukla in 2002 where more than 15 cops eye-witnessed the murder at the police station but refused to acknowledge in the court. Testimonies of his fear were rumored to be so strong that MLA’s & MP’s of the areas, irrespective of political parties they belonged, were his pawns.
In many cases summons and reports were issued on his name but his strong influence and connections helped him to ward them off. His style of land grabbing was a clear cut example of political-criminal-bureaucratic nexus where he was never reprimanded and despite his multiple complaints of extortion, he was never on the list of most wanted criminal let alone be ‘wanted’.
His connections with SHO, SI, SSP, and MLA & Pradhan of the village are an example which empirically proves the existence of this tricycle.
He was until very recently, an epitome of affright, his residential neighbors were helpless of his powers and were systemically denied the justice, anyone who dared to speak against him was maltreated by police and their plight was unheard by politicians under the support radar of Vikas.
This all concluded with the ambush where 8 policemen sacrificed their lives to this tri nexus. With this authorities realized the consequence of ignoring the rule of law and not taking adequate measures in response to the demand of the situation.
But then again when internal fiasco arose because of nexus b/w senior officers, politicians and Vikas, everyone sidelined their connection with him and started blaming each other for allowing him to blossom. Trapped were the administrators/senior officers who were under the radar of suspicion, many of whom were either suspended or transferred let alone be booked for conspiracy and backbiting.
While his close aides were being eliminated in encounters, he was running from states to states to seek the shelter under the past connections he had made. After this, he was caught and strategically eliminated in the name of old fictitious, classical and filmy narrative: escaping-hitting-encountered. Many called it justice meanwhile many were suspicious of the incident and called it cover-up to hide the background story: “Making of Vikas Dubey”.
Before Vikas Dubey’s encounter, Pintu Sengar who was a close aid of BSP supremo was killed in unpredicted circumstances which later on the investigation were found to be police backed murder.
Vikas Dubey was not alone; caste and religion politics have created long list criminals who are backed by the respective parties, claiming to be the guardian of law and order, for their influence over the vote bank and respective castes.
Whatever the media portrays or police claims, everything is now annihilated with Vikas. They say justice delayed is justice denied, but what about justice achieved through unjustified means? Isn’t it injustice and mockery of rule of law?
Vikas was doomed to suffer his fate what about those who made him Vikas Dubey, a dreaded criminal? What about this politicians-criminals-administrative nexus that breeds such crimes? Will, it ever end or it will go on eternal recurrence mode?