Indian police shot dead one of the country's most wanted gangsters yesterday just a day after his dramatic arrest, sparking accusations of a staged extra-judicial killing. Officials said Vikas Dubey, detained for the killing of eight police officers, was shot as he tried to escape a police vehicle while being driven to his home city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Within hours of TV stations carrying images of his bloodstained body lying in a hospital, rights lawyers and activists alleged that police had killed Dubey to prevent him revealing his connections with powerful people. Senior opposition Congress party leader Priyanka Gandhi said the people "protecting" Dubey were still free. Dubey, aged about 50, was accused in more than 60 murders, attempted murders and other cases. He was said to have shot dead an Uttar Pradesh state minister inside a police station in 2001.