Police on Tuesday arrested gangster Vikas Dubey’s cousin Shashikant Pandey, who went on the run after eight policemen were gunned down in Bikru village in Kanpur district on July 3. The police had gone to the village in the early hours to arrest Dubey.
Vikas Dubey was shot dead in an alleged encounter on July 10 while being brought back to the state from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, while five other assailants have been killed in separate suspected encounters.
Police claimed Pandey confessed his role in the attack. They later recovered an AK-47 rifle and an Insas rifle that the assailants had allegedly taken away after killing the police personnel.
“Shashi was arrested from Mela Chauraha of Chaubeypur area in Kanpur, and during questioning he confessed his involvement in the crime. During interrogation, Shashikant told that he had hid the looted police weapons on Vikas’s direction. Later, using Shashi’s information, the police recovered an AK-47 rifle and live 17 cartridges from Vikas’s house, and Insas rifle and live 20 cartridges from Shashi’s house,” said Additional Director General (Law and order) Prashant Kumar.
The officer said Pandey had also confirmed the involvement of other people in the July 3 attack.
Thirty-year-old Shashikant, alias Sonu Pandey, is the son of Vikas Dubey’s maternal uncle Prem Kumar Pandey. Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Kumar Mishra, who was Bilhor Circle Officer, was found dead in his house.
While being taken away, Shashikant Pandey told mediaperasons that Vikas Dubey had ordered them to open fire at the the police team on the night of July 2.
On being asked who killed DSP Mishra, he told a news channel that he did not kill him. “They (policemen) were killed very brutally (badi berahami se maara gayaa),” Pandey told a news channel.
When asked why he fled, he said, “My mother told me to run away (Maa ne bhagaa diyaa thaa).”
A day after the ambush, police searched Vikas Dubey’s house, and claimed to have recovered six country made pistols, cartridges, two kg explosives, 15 live crude bombs and a large amount of iron nails. A senior police officer said, “After killing the eight police personnel, the assailants escaped with five police weapons — three pistols, an AK-47, and an Insas rifle. We earlier recovered three pistols from the assailants who were killed in the encounters. Today, we discovered the remaining two weapons robbed from the police.”
ADG Prashant Kumar said that of the 21 people named in the FIR, the police had so far arrested four and shot dead six in separate incidents.
Apart from those named in the FIR, the police have also arrested nine people, seven of whom have been charged with criminal conspiracy. Two Gwalior-based businessmen have been booked for providing shelter to Shashikant Pandey and Shivam Dubey, who is also Vikas Dubey’s cousin.
On July 3, Prem Kumar Pandey and his associate Atul Dubey were killed by police in Kanpur district. Five days later, Vikas Dubey’s close aide Amar Dubey was gunned down in Hamirpur. The following day, Ranveer alias Bauva Dubey was killed in Etawah, while Prabhat Mishra alias Kartikey was shot dead in Kanpur.
According to the police, 11 of the accused named in the FIR are absconding. They have announced a Rs 50,000 reward for information leading to their arrest.
—With PTI Inputs
‘They are cops. Vikas bhaiyya and others have killed them’
An audio clip containing a purported conversation between Shashikant Pandey’s wife and a woman relative has gone viral. In the clip, a woman, presumed to be Pandey’s wife Manu, is heard seeking advice from a woman relative and telling her about the killing of the policemen by “Vikas bhaiyya” and others.
It appears that the call was made immediately after gangster Vikas Dubey and his henchmen killed the eight policemen at Bikru village on the night of July 2.
“Two men died at my door, while another man died in my courtyard,” she is heard saying. “Everyone has ran away, what will I say when police arrive here,” she adds. On being asked from the other side about the dead, she says, “They are all policemen. Vikas bhaiyya and others have killed them.”
The woman is also heard asking suggestions on what to do when police would come to inquire. “Tell me what will I say when they ask me where did your man go? If he came back after doing day duty, so where is he now? Papa and everyone else have fled,” she is heard saying.
The woman relative, believed to be gangster Vikas Dubey’s sister-in-law, is heard asking her to delete her number from the call list first and then remove other numbers as well as that of her husband Sonu (Shashikant Pandey). “Keep the phone, don’t switch it off,” the relative tells her.
SHO (Rail Bazaar Police Station) Dadhibal Tiwari, who is also the investigating officer in the killing of eight policemen in the ambush, said that the audio clip will be investigated.
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