A day before gangster Vikas Dubey died in police custody on Friday morning, a lawyer had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking security for him, NDTV reported. The petitioner, in a plea late on Thursday, expressed the fear that Dubey would be killed in a staged encounter.

Advocate Ghanashyam Upadhyay had also sought a court-monitored inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the killing of five of Dubey’s aides this month, and the demolition of Dubey’s house in Kanpur. Upadhyay had also argued that the Kanpur Police be urged to file a first information report in connection with the demolition of the gangster’s house.

“Ours is a democratic country,” Upadhyay said in his petition. “Police should file complaint, investigate, collect evidence and file chargesheet in court. It is the judiciary’s role to punish the accused after trial. In this case, the accused could have been given a death sentence. But chasing them to kill them in a so-called encounter is not the solution.”

Upadhyay said that murder charges should be filed against those who killed Dubey’s aides. He said attempts are being made to ensure that the Supreme Court hears the petition on Friday itself.

The Kanpur encounter case and Dubey’s killing

Dubey was arrested in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district on Thursday in connection with the murder of eight policemen in Kanpur on July 3. The police claimed that one of the vehicles of the Uttar Pradesh Police escorting Dubey back to the state from Madhya Pradesh overturned on a highway early in the morning on Friday. He then tried to escape, the police alleged.

“Vikas Dubey attempted to flee by snatching pistol of the injured policemen after car overturned,” Kanpur Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar said. “The police [personnel] tried to make him surrender, during which he fired at the policemen. He was injured in retaliatory firing by police. He was later rushed to the hospital.” Four police personnel were also injured, Kanpur Inspector General Mohit Agarwal said.

Dubey, who was arrested in Ujjain on Thursday, was handed over to a Special Task Force team of the Uttar Pradesh Police in the evening. “He was handed over to the UP police, who took him to their state by road,” an unidentified police officer said.

Opposition leaders have alleged a nexus between the police, Dubey and politicians, saying that with the encounter, the gangster’s influential contacts will now never be known.