There is no evidence against the Uttar Pradesh police in the killing of gangster Vikas Dubey after his arrest last year, an inquiry commission has said in its report, which blames the public, the media and the criminal's family for not coming forward with proof.
Vikas Dubey and his five associates were killed by the UP police in July, days after the gangster set up an ambush in which eight policemen were killed.
Vikas Dubey was being brought back to UP in a police convoy when he was shot dead. The police said the car in which Dubey was traveling flipped and he snatched a policeman's gun, tried to escape and opened fire when they shot him.
There is "no material evidence" to rebut the police version of the encounter but there is "sufficient material" to support it, the three-member inquiry panel has said in a report submitted to the UP government and the Supreme Court.
The judicial panel was set up by the Supreme Court after petitions called for an investigation into the encounter, alleging it was a set-up by the police.
Sources say the inquiry commission headed by Justice BS Chauhan has said no one came forward with any evidence against the police.
"We did our best to collect evidence, asking the public and media to give their version. The media carried so many stories against the UP police but none gave any evidence," sources told NDTV on the panel report.
The "non-participation by citizenry and media" defeated the purpose of establishing the Inquiry Commission, the panel has reportedly said.
Neither did Vikas Dubey's wife or family members come forward with any evidence against the police despite best efforts by the panel, sources said.
The inquiry commission says it issued notices in local papers for evidence but nobody turned up.
"Why did the media not come forward to give evidence against UP police? Media made so much noise against the police despite the panel's request," sources questioned.
"The media should be careful of what they say and support their stories. They should have helped the commission," they said.
The inquiry report has given a long list of recommendations for the UP police, noting that they had gone into the Vikas Dubey case without sufficient preparation.