Five days after eight policemen were killed during a failed raid to capture gangster Vikas Dubey in his village near Kanpur, the Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh Police gunned down a close associate and bodyguard of the criminal. Vikas Dubey himself remains absconding.
Six other men — including four associates of Vikas Dubey’s — and two female relatives of the gangster’s associates, were arrested in three separate operations in Kanpur and Faridabad, Haryana.
Also on Wednesday, Kanpur Police arrested the former station officer of Chaubeypur, Vinay Tiwari, and Sub-Inspector Krishna Kumar Sharma on charges of conspiracy.
There is evidence that Tiwari and Sharma had tipped off Vikas Dubey about the police raid in his village, Kanpur senior superintendent of police, Dinesh Kumar P, said.
The STF killed Amar Dubey, the personal gunner of Vikas Dubey, in a joint operation with police in Hamirpur district adjacent to Kanpur early on Wednesday.
Amar Dubey was among the men who had fired at the police party in Bikru village in Kanpur’s Chaubeypur police station area early on July 3. Amar Dubey carried a bounty of Rs 50,000 on his head.
Hamirpur superintendent of police Shlok Kumar said they had received information that Amar Dubey had been spotted in Artara village under Maudaha police station, and a team of the STF and local police had surrounded the area.
Amar Dubey had opened fire with a countrymade pistol, and police had returned fire. Amar Dubey and two police personnel — an inspector-rank officer and a constable — sustained bullet injuries in the shooting. All injured were rushed to hospital, where doctors declared Amar Dubey dead, the SP said.
Police said an automatic weapon was recovered from Amar Dubey. The condition of the two injured policemen is stable.
IG, Kanpur Range Mohit Agarwal said Amar was a close aide of Vikas Dubey’s, and had fired the most shots at the police in Bikru village.
The UP government on Wednesday increased the reward for Vikas Dubey to Rs 5 lakh. ADG (Law & Order) Prashant Kumar said the police would not rest until all the accused had been brought to justice.
Late on Tuesday night, Kanpur Police arrested three persons after a brief encounter in Chaubeypur, including one Shyamu Bajpai, who carried a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head, and Sanju Dubey, the father of Amar Dubey.
Bajpai was shot in his right leg, but his condition was stated to be stable. The third man was identified as one Jahan Yadav.
ADG Prashant Kumar said Bajpai and Yadav were named in the FIR registered in connection with the murder of the eight policemen. The role of Sanju Dubey had come to light in the course of the investigation, the ADG said. A countrymade pistol had been found on Bajpai, police said.
The three individuals arrested in Faridabad have been identified as Kartikey alias Prabhat, Ankur, and Shrawan Kumar, who is Ankur’s father. Kartikey alias Prabhat belongs to Bikru village, while Ankur and Shrawan are from Kakorpur village under Kanpur’s Shivrajpur police station area.
Ankur and Shrawan had moved to Faridabad a few years ago, and had allegedly been sheltering Kartikey alias Prabhat. Kartikey is named in the FIR on the murder of the eight policemen, Kanpur SSP Dinesh Kumar P said.
Faridabad Police PRO Sube Singh said: “On Tuesday, information was received that some aides of gangster Vikas Dubey are hiding with weapons in New Indira Nagar Complex, Hari Nagar. Based on this, a raid was conducted in the area.”
A team of the Faridabad Crime Branch made the arrests after an exchange of fire. Two pistols that had reportedly been looted from the policemen killed in Bikru village were recovered.
“Prabhat has stated that Vikas Dubey and he had fled after grabbing two pistols and live cartridges that belonged to the policemen. They stayed for two days at the home of a friend in Sheoli village in Kanpur Dehat district,” PRO Singh said.
Prabhat, Ankur and Shrawan were produced in court on Wednesday afternoon, and Prabhat was sent to transit remand at the request of the UP Police and handed over to the STF.
Ankur and Shrawan were remanded in judicial custody. Shravan tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and “jail authorities will follow the guidelines of the Health Department” in dealing with him, Singh said.
IG Agarwal said, Ankur and Shrawan are not accused in the case yet.
ADG Kumar said that three of the seven police weapons looted by Vikas Dubey and his gang on the night of July 2-3 had been recovered so far. “We are yet to recover an INSAS rifle and an AK-47 rifle that were taken by the accused,” he said.
Hours after the Bikru village killings, police had gunned down Vikas Dubey’s maternal uncle Prem Prakash Pandey, and his associate Atul Dubey. Both these men were named in the FIR.
Then, on July 5, police arrested four people, including Vikas Dubey’s associates Daya Shankar and Uma Shankar Agnihotri. Daya Shankar was allegedly among those who had fired at the police, and carried a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head.
A day later, three others, including two women, were arrested for allegedly instigating the criminals and supplying them with information on police movements. They have been identified as Suresh Verma, Kshama Dubey, and Rekha Agnihotri, the wife of Uma Shankar Agnihotri.
And on Wednesday evening, two more women – Khushi Dubey, the wife of Amar Dubey, and Shanti Devi, the mother of absconding accused Heeru Dubey – were arrested in Kanpur. Both women are accused of egging on the criminals as they fired at the police on July 3, IG Agarwal said.
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