Police in India say they have shot and killed notorious criminal Vikas Dubey, wanted in connection with at least 60 crimes, including the killing of eight police officers.
Officials say Dubey had given himself up in the central town of Ujjain on Thursday after a week-long search. They say police were driving him Friday to Kanpur, in northern Uttar Pradesh state, when the vehicle crashed, prompting Dubey to steal a policeman's pistol and attempt to flee, before being shot by other officers.
Some political leaders and rights activists have questioned the police version of events and accused them of an extra-judicial killing. Dubey was believed to have had many connections with state politicians and the police, and the activists believe he was killed so he would not reveal those links.
From his Twitter account Friday, Indian Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the fact that media vehicles following the police convoy were stopped before the suspect was killed "leaves no room for doubt that the encounter was staged." He called for all police officers involved to be arrested.
The Associated Press reports two officers were arrested this week for allegedly tipping off Dubey about a police raid on his home July 3.
Deaths in police custody are not isolated incidents in India.
A report last month by a New Delhi rights group, the National Campaign Against Torture, said at least 1,731 people died in custody during 2019, which means five custodial deaths a day.