With the release of Vikram Vedha on September 30 in India, fans have become interested in the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF). Vikram Vedha, which is a remake of the 2017 blockbuster Tamil hit of the same name, shows Vikram, a UP STF officer, played by Saif Ali Khan, attempting to capture infamous Lucknow-based gangster Vedha, portrayed by Hrithik Roshan.

Similar to the film, the real-life UP Special Task Force has been a force to reckon with for a long time. It was created on May 4, 1998, for several purposes, including the collection of intelligence about Mafia gangs, and Pakistani ISI agents as well as taking action against them and helping the district police deal with gangs and other organised criminals in the state.

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After the ATF was created, the UP STF conceded the responsibility of gathering intelligence and taking action against ISI agents to the agency. However, it still has played a huge role in decreasing Mafia raj in Uttar Pradesh, as has been evident time and again. Let’s take a look at some real-life encounters of the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force here.

Encounter of gangster Vikas Dubey

The Uttar Pradesh STF killed Infamous gangster Vikas Dubey in an encounter in Kanpur on July 10, 2020. Initial reports by police said that the van which was transporting the gangster from Ujjain to Kanpur overturned and Dubey attempted to escape. After the overturning of the vehicle, Dubey got a hold of a weapon from a constable and opened fire, when the STF fired back, killing him in the process.

Dubey’s encounter followed several inquiries into his death, however, the police were given a clean chit to allegations suggesting it was a fake encounter.

Encounter of gangster Manish Singh

A few days before the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the second term, the UP STF killed gangster Manish Singh, who had a bounty of Rs 2 Lakh on his head, in Varanasi during an encounter.

The police received a tip-off regarding Singh’s location, which resulted in the STF launching an operation to arrest him. He was cornered by the STF in Lohata, Varanasi, and killed in the subsequent encounter.

Encounter of dacoit Gauri Yadav

The UP STF killed one of the most infamous dacoits in Uttar Pradesh, Gauri Yadav, on October 30, 2021, during an encounter in Chitrakoot. Yadav had a bounty of Rs 5 Lakhs on his head in Uttar Pradesh and the encounter took place near Bhalipurwa of Chitrakoot district.

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The encounter happened early in the morning, between 3:30 am to 4 am. Automatic and semi-automatic rifles, along with huge ammunition were recovered from the scene. 

Encounter of gangster Rakesh Pandey

Gangster Rakesh Pandey, one of the accused in the murder of BJP leader Krishnanad Rai, was killed in an encounter by the UP STF on August 9, 2020. The encounter took place in Sarojini Nagar, Lucknow.

Pandey had a bounty of Rs 1 lakh on his head. “Rakesh Pandey killed in an encounter with UP STF near Sarojini Nagar Police Station in Lucknow,” Inspector General of Police (STF) Amitabh Yash said.