Two days after eight policemen, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police, were killed during a raid to arrest criminal Vikas Dubey near Kanpur city, the Uttar Pradesh Police has arrested a member of the Dubey gang. Daya Shankar Agnihotri (42) was held after a brief encounter at Kalyanpur area on Sunday early morning. He suffered a bullet injury on his left leg and was later admitted to the hospital where doctors declared his condition as stable. A country-made pistol was also recovered from him.
The Kanpur shootout had unfolded late on Thursday when the police team visited Bikaru village in Chaubeypur police station area to arrest Dubey, a history-sheeter who faces about 60 criminal cases including murder and attempt to murder. At his residence, the assailants gheraoed the policemen and started firing, Additional Superintendent of Police, Rural, Brijesh Srivastava, said.
On getting information, an additional police team was rushed to the spot to rescue the cops. The injured policemen were taken to the hospital where doctors declared eight of them dead. The assailants managed to escape from the spot. Hours later, the Kanpur police claimed to have gunned down two criminals after a team reached Bikaru village for combing operation.
Here’s what has happened in the case so far
UP govt announces Rs 1 lakh for tracing gangster Vikas Dubey
The Uttar Pradesh government Sunday increased the reward on prime accused Dubey’s head from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. A reward of Rs 25,000 was also announced for all the 20 persons who have been named in the FIR along with the main accused in the case. Dubey (53), who hails from Bikaru village, was earlier accused in the murders of BJP leader Santosh Shukla (54) and retired school principal Siddheshwar Pandey (65) at Shivli police station area of Kanpur Dehat. While he was acquitted in the Shukla murder case, he was awarded life imprisonment in the Pandey murder case and is now out on bail.
Arrests and detentions in case
While Dubey’s aide Daya Shankar Agnihotri was arrested on Sunday, the Kanpur police also took into custody a sub-divisional officer (SDO) and another employee of a power sub-station from where electricity supply was interrupted during the raid on the intervening night of Thursday-Friday.
Police also questioned the man responsible for disconnecting the power supply, a senior police official said, adding that the man confessed to having snapped the connection on instructions of a caller who claimed that he was calling from the nearby Chaubeypur police station in Kanpur district.
According to sources, the phone number from which the line worker was contacted belongs to the Chaubeypur police station. However, police have not given any information on who ordered the power supply interruption during the raid.
Inspector General, Kanpur Range, Mohit Agarwal said, “Daya Shankar was named in the FIR and police had declared a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head. He is a close associate of Vikas Dubey and had also fired on the police party.”
Shankar used to move around with Dubey, police said. His family, including his wife Rekha and two sons, stay at Dubey’s house, they added. Police are also trying to check if Shankar has any criminal record. “We have not found any case against him so far,” an officer said.
Acting on a tip off, the police on Sunday morning tried to nab Shankar in Kalyanpur area of the city. At around 4.30 am, the cops spotted Shankar on a motorcycle and signaled him to stop. Shankar opened fire and tried to escape but the police retaliated. Shankar got injured in the gun battle, police said.
In a video which was being circulated on social media, Shankar was purportedly heard saying that Dubey was tipped about the raid last week from the police station itself. Shankar is also heard saying that Dubey was locked inside his house at the time of the encounter and did not see anything.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Krishna Nagar, Deepak Singh said Dubey’s mother and sister-in-law were also picked up from his brother’s house for questioning and later released. Police seized two Ambassador cars and a motorcycle as the family reportedly couldn’t produce documents regarding them.
UP Police probes ‘insider role’
A day after the incident, the station officer (SO) of Chaubeypur Police Station police station was suspended pending an inquiry into links with Dubey. Officers suspected that Dubey was tipped off about the raid early Friday morning, helping him escape even as his gang members fought the police team. Sources said the Special Task Force (STF) probing the shootout is questioning SO Vinay Tiwari. DGP Hitesh Chandra Awasthy confirmed that a probe was on into Tiwari’s “role in the case”.
Admitting that they are probing if Dubey was tipped off about the raid, Kanpur Range IG Mohit Agarwal had said Dubey’s men were well-prepared for the police team “and the informant could be from the police itself”. “If that is the case, the police personnel who leaked the information would be sent to jail and dismissed,” the IG said.
A senior police officer said they were also probing if only SO Tiwari had links with Dubey, for personal gains, or more personnel from the police station were involved. “Using call details we will find out how frequently the SO was talking to Dubey,” the officer said.
What has also brought Tiwari’s role under a cloud is his failure to alert the police on what they could face during the early Friday morning raid. “The Station Officer has been posted in the area long enough (since January 31) to know what the situation in the village was like and if Dubey could be dangerous. When the force was going for a raid past midnight, why didn’t he warn them?” the senior officer said.
Vikas Dubey’s house razed
On Saturday, Dubey’s house in Bikru village was demolished. While a police team was present at the spot and said locals had accused Dubey of usurping their land to build the house, it denied any hand in the demolition later.
A JCB was used to demolish the boundary wall as well as a large portion of Dubey’s house, spread over 10,000 sq ft, in Bikru, soon after a police team reached the village. Two SUVs parked on the premises were also damaged. Post-demolition, only Dubey’s father, who needs assistance moving around, and his domestic help and her family were in the house, which had CCTV cameras all around.
Asked about the demolition, IG Agarwal told reporters, “Yesterday, when I visited the village, locals claimed that he (Dubey) had captured their land using threats to build the house. The house was a centre of crime and criminals used to regularly visit it. People were in anguish.”
Later, Agarwal told The Indian Express, “Locals complained about him issuing threats but I have no information that Vikas’s house has been demolished. Police have no role in it.” No other senior police or administration official was ready to speak on the matter, and it was not clear under what legal process the house was razed. ADG, Kanpur Zone, Jai Narain Singh and ADG, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar did not reply to queries on the matter.Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Bilhor, P N Rai said he had no information regarding the demolition.
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