Of the multiple fan pages, eulogizing the gangster, barely two remain on social media now.
According to Kanpur (rural) Superintendent of Police Brijesh Kumar Srivastava, the police learnt about the Vikas Dubey pages when their surveillance teams found them active.
“An inquiry is underway. We have checked that the content is highly sensitive. Legal action will be taken. We will also send a letter to Facebook asking them to block these pages, but first we will complete our own investigation,” he said.
Vikas Dubey hit the headlines earlier this year when he was found responsible for the massacre of eight policemen in an ambush in the Bikru village on July 3.
Dubey was killed a week later in a purported encounter in Kanpur after he was arrested in Madhya Pradesh.
Some of the Facebook pages on Vikas Dubey were found to glorify automatic weapons, eulogize the gangster and even solicit contract killings.
These groups had sensitive and objectionable posts. The pages had names like ‘Vikas Dubey Kanpur Wala’ and ‘Vikas Dubey amar rahe’.
Some pages like ‘Vikas Dubey Fan Page’, ‘Brahmin Shiromani Pandit Vikas Dubey’ and ‘Vikas Dubey gangster’ have done the disappearing act on social media.
The Kanpur police has asked its surveillance team and cyber cell to collect more details and take action against those who have created these pages.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that the gangsters have found a strong presence on social media.
The slain dons are being kept ‘alive’ by their friends and supporters who keep posting items from time to time to revive memories of the dons and connect with people.
Virendra Pratap Shahi, the don from Gorakhpur who is said to have built the city into the crime capital of north India in the 70s and 80s, was shot dead in Lucknow in 1997.
His Facebook display photo screams ‘Sher-e-Purvanchal’ and carries a photograph of a roaring lion.
Greetings on various festivals are extended to his supporters on his behalf. Supporters, in turn, pay their respects to the slain don on his death anniversary and keep reminding people that he was the original ‘Sher-e-Purvanchal’.
Twenty-three years after his death, his page has over 2,000 likes and a similar number of followers.
Another slain don ‘active’ on Facebook is Shri Prakash Shukla. One of the most dreaded gangsters in the history of Uttar Pradesh, Shukla’s activities in the underworld had led to the creation of the Special Task Force in Uttar Pradesh in 1998.
The same year, the gangster was shot dead by the STF in Ghaziabad. His Facebook page proudly calls him a ‘don’.
Though the criminal was shot dead in 1998, his FB page keeps him ‘alive’ and claims that he even started a ‘relationship in January 2015’ and then got ‘married in January 2015’. The significance of January 2015 is not yet known.
Munna Bajrangi, who was shot dead inside Baghpat jail in 2018, also has a Facebook page but there are no posts on it. His profile claims that he is ‘mafia don’.