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Saturday, August 08, 2020

Kanpur shootout: Eerie silence hangs over village, most homes locked

The silence is disrupted momentarily by some children playing at a distance. On being asked, some of them said they are from the neighbouring village and came to Bikru out of curiosity.

Written by Avaneesh Mishra | Kanpur | Published: July 6, 2020 2:36:03 am
Police outside the house in Bakru village, Kanpur, where the eight personnel were killed. (Photo: Vishal Srivastav)

Two days after eight policemen, including a DSP and three Sub-Inspectors, were killed there during a raid to arrest a criminal, an eerie silence hangs over Bikru village in Kanpur. The streets are deserted, except for armed policemen keeping vigil.

The silence is disrupted momentarily by some children playing at a distance. On being asked, some of them said they are from the neighbouring village and came to Bikru out of curiosity.

Locks hang on the iron gates of almost all homes in the village. When asked, residents of an adjoining village said that soon after the incident, most local residents left the village.

In the centre of the village are piles of bricks and concrete, earlier part of the now-demolished mansion of history-sheeter Vikas Dubey, who is absconding. In that pile of rubble, which has spilled over to the adjoining roads, are mangled remains of at least two SUVs and two tractors.

A house near Vikas Dubey’s demolished mansion, which the owners did not even lock before leaving.(Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

On Saturday, the mansion was demolished using the same vehicle which had blocked the road when the police team came to arrest Dubey. While a police team was present at the spot during the demolition exercise and said local residents had accused Dubey of usurping their land to build the mansion, it denied any role in the demolition later.

About 50 m from the demolished structure are two houses that the owners did not even lock before escaping. The doors to all the rooms are open and objects inside scattered. In the kitchen in one of the houses, a container had broken and rice had spilled onto the floor. A small refrigerator was lying on the ground with its doors open. The policemen deployed in the village said they have no information about who ransacked these homes. Near the kitchen are narrow stairs leading to one of the roofs, from where the police team was fired upon. A broken lock is seen near a metal door to a roof.

“This was the terror of Vikas Dubey. You visit the whole village, you will not find a single house without a heavy metal door. Nothing in this village happened without his permission and both local police and administration were in his pocket. You can imagine it by the fact that even though he is absconding, no one has the courage to come back and live here till he is caught or killed in an encounter,” said an elderly local resident.

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