A DAY after Vikas Dubey was killed in an ‘encounter’, arrests were reported from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in connection with the slain gangster, with the Uttar Pradesh Police distancing itself from the two men held in Thane.
The family of the father and son reported arrested from Gwalior said they had been picked up on Thursday by the UP Police, while Dubey was still on the run. In Thane, a Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) team announced the arrest of an alleged Dubey associate, Arvind alias Guddan Ramvilas Trivedi. In the evening, the UP Police said Trivedi was not wanted by them.
The Enforcement Directorate said Saturday it was going to investigate the assets owned by Dubey and his family and associates, while the UP government formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the whole Dubey affair, including what action had been taken on the various criminal cases against him. The SIT has been told to also investigate the role of police officials, recommend action against them if needed, look into the various arms licences he held, and submit a report by July 31.
Announcing the arrest of Omprakash Pande and son Anil from Gwalior, the UP Police said they had harboured Dubey’s men Shashikant alias Sonu Pande and Shivam Dubey. Shashikant and Shivam, both wanted in connection with the shootout at Dubey’s village Bikru on July 3, which killed eight policemen, however managed to give the police the slip.
Omprakash incidentally is the elder brother of Prem Prakash Pandey, who was one of the five killed apart from Dubey in a series of ‘encounters’ by the UP Police while looking for him, between July 3 and 9.
Sources said the UP Police narrowed down on Shashikant and Shivam through call detail records.
Omprakash’s wife told the local media in Gwalior that the UP Police picked up her husband and son around 6.30 pm on Thursday. Claiming that they had nothing to do with Dubey’s associates, she said her husband would go to Bikru occasionally as he had some ancestral property there.
The Madhya Pradesh Police said they did not know of the arrests. Additional DG Rajababu Singh told The Sunday Express that they came to know of the same only on Saturday.
The Maharashtra ATS team that arrested alleged Dubey associate Guddan Trivedi, 46, and his driver Sushilkumar alias Sonu Suresh Tiwari from Thane was led by former ‘encounter specialist’ Daya Nayak. The two were picked up from Kolshet Road in Thane, from the house of one of Trivedi’s relatives.
The ATS said the two had left Kanpur soon after the Bikru shootout. An official said they are believed to have driven through Madhya Pradesh, Nashik and Pune to reach Thane on July 7. “Some people hailing from Trivedi’s village live on Kolshet Road,” said the official.
After the ambush at Bikru, the UP Police had circulated a list containing names and photos of Dubey’s associates who were at large. The official said they had been tipped off regarding Trivedi by one of their informers.
The ATS said Trivedi was also a co-accused with Dubey in the murder of BJP MLA Santosh Shukla inside Shivli Police Station in 2001. However, Dubey was acquitted in that case, and the UP Police issued a statement in the evening saying Trivedi was an “old member” of Dubey’s gang and not wanted for the Bikru shootout.
Asked whether they would take custody of Trivedi and his driver, Inspector General, Kanpur Range, Mohit Agarwal said, “If Guddan and Sonu are not wanted in the case, why would we take their custody?”
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