Kanpur Ambush: Officer Who Ignored Deceased Cop’s Letter Suspended
DIG Anant Dev Tiwari is facing flak for alleged failure to act upon a letter sent by deceased cop Devendra Mishra
The Uttar Pradesh government on 12 November suspended DIG Anant Dev Tiwari following an inquiry by a Special Investigation Team into the killing of 8 policemen in an ambush by gangster Vikas Dubey in Bikru, Kanpur on 3 July.
Anant Dev Tiwari, who was promoted to DIG rank only a month before the massacre.
Tiwari was in the line of fire for allegedly failing to act upon a letter sent by Bilhaur DSP Devendra Mishra regarding SHO Vinay Tiwari's links with Dubey. Mishra was one of the eight policemen killed in the encounter with Dubey's men last Friday.
Earlier, SHO Vinay Tiwari was suspended over suspicions that he tipped off Dubey about the police raid and thereby caused the death of eight policemen.
This letter is said to have been written by Mishra to Anant Dev Tiwari when the latter was SSP Kanpur.
In the letter, Mishra alleges that in one case involving Dubey, Section 386 IPC (extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt) was removed on the instruction of SHO Vinay Tiwari.
Mishra’s letter goes on to accuse SHO Tiwari of harbouring “sympathy” for Dubey, and not taking action against him in several cases. He also alleged that the SHO had regular interactions with the gangster.
Several members of the Opposition in Uttar Pradesh have now alleged that not just SHO Vinay Tiwari but even DIG Anant Dev Tiwari had links with gangster Vikas Dubey.
Samajwadi Party National Spokesperson IP Singh posted a video alleging proximity between Anant Dev Tiwari and Dubey’s treasurer Jai Vajpayee and demanded an inquiry about the wealth of UP STF officers.
Putting up pictures of Tiwari with Vajpayee, Congress’ media panelist Pankhuri Pathak has demanded a judicial inquiry into every politician and official connected to Dubey.
Who Is Anant Dev Tiwari?
It has been less than a month since Anant Dev Tiwari was promoted from SSP Kanpur to DIG in the UP STF on 16 June. Often glorified as “Singham” by the local media, Tiwari is known as an “encounter specialist” and has worked extensively with the UP STF.
Tiwari’s journey begins not far from Kanpur - he was born in the neighbouring district of Fatehpur in 1963. An MSc in Mathematics, Tiwari was appointed as a Uttar Pradesh Police Service officer in 1991, according to government records.
Tiwari’s rise in the police and Vikas Dubey’s rise as a gangster both took place roughly around the same time - in the 1990s and 2000s - which was a booming period for organised crime in Uttar Pradesh.
There are several stories associated with Tiwari, some true and others exaggerated.
One such story is that in one of his earlier postings in Etawah, he came into conflict with a few people having influence in the Samajwadi Party. This allegedly led to his transfer and a “punishment” posting in Chitrakoot.
According to the legend, it was in this period that he gained knowledge about dacoit gangs which held sway in the region bordering UP and Madhya Pradesh, and this knowledge helped him in a career-changing case over a decade later.
His first major posting in Kanpur came in 1997 and during this stint, he came into prominence over the rescue of a kidnapped son of a tobacco baron as well as a number of “encounters”.
Dadua Encounter: The Turning Point
Politically, Tiwari was seen as relatively closer to BSP and BJP regimes in the state, though it was under the SP regime that he was promoted to IPS rank in 2006.
In 2007, soon after BSP supremo Mayawati came to power with a majority, she is said to have deployed the STF to take on dacoit Shiv Kumar Patel, better known as Dadua. Tiwari became a key part of the team and his knowledge of the region is said to have been an advantage.
On 22 July 2007, Dadua was gunned down in an “encounter” in the ravines near Chitrakoot and next year, in August 2008, his protege Ambika Patel alias Thokiya was killed in another “encounter”. This was a major turning point in Tiwari’s career and made him famous as an “encounter specialist”.
According to reports, Tiwari has taken part in around 150 encounters in his career.
A few months after BJP’s Yogi Adityanath assumed power in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, Tiwari was posted as SSP Muzaffarnagar and the series of “encounters” continued in the troubled Western UP district.
According to reports, as many as 89 encounters took place during his 15 month stint in Muzaffarnagar, including that of Shamim, who had a reward of Rs one lakh on his name and Vikas Jat, who had a reward of Rs 50,000.
In August 2018, Tiwari was transferred from Muzaffarnagar to Kanpur as the SSP. His critics say that unlike his campaign against several criminals, he allegedly showed no such seriousness against Vikas Dubey.
Now with pictures of Tiwari in the company of Dubey’s associate surfacing, it has put the credibility of STF’s probe against Dubey at risk. His alleged inaction on Mishra’s letter, makes matters worse. The state government would now come under immense pressure to conduct an inquiry against Anant Dev Tiwari as well and distance him from the STF.
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