Kanpur: Three more people including a close relative of gangster Vikas Dubey involved in the attack in which eight police personnel were killed have been arrested, a senior police officer said on Tuesday.
According to the police, the total number of arrests in the case now stands at four.
Dubey’s relative Shama, his neighbour Suresh Verma, and maid Rekha were arrested in the case, an official police spokesperson said here.
Rekha’s husband, Daya Shankar Agnihotri, is a key member of the Dubey gang and was arrested in a pre-dawn encounter in Kalyanpur on Sunday.
Agnihotri, who was involved in the ambush, was carrying a cash reward of Rs 25,000 along with 17 others who continue to remain elusive.
Ten police constables have been sent to Chaubeypur Police Station from the reserve police lines, said SSP, Kanpur Dinesh Kumar P.
This is in replacement for the police personnel who were suspended for their alleged involvement in the encounter.
Station Officer (SO) Chaubeypur, Vinay Tiwari, sub-inspectors Kunwarpal and Krishna Kumar Sharma and constable Rajiv were suspended for their alleged involvement in passing on information to Dubey about police movement.
Meanwhile, a 2017 video of Dubey has gone viral on social media in which he suggested he was close to local politicians including some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs.
The video was allegedly shot while Dubey was being interrogated by the Uttar Pradesh STF in 2017 after his arrest from Krishna Nagar.
In the clip, Dubey claims to have close links with two local BJP MLAs, Bhagwati Sagar and Abhijeet Sanga and the chief of the Zila panchayat.
He also claims in the video that Sagar and Sanga had helped him in the past when he faced police action.
However, both the BJP leaders denied having any links with Dubey.
“My constituency is Bithoor in Kanpur and people from the adjoining village come to me for help, said Sanga, adding that on several occasions, he had recommended action supporting people who were against Dubey.
Sagar, who is the MLA from Bilhaur, denied helping Dubey ever and said that the video was being circulated to malign his image.
Both the BJP leaders alleged that Dubey usually associates himself with the leaders belonging to the ruling party in the state and demanded an inquiry into the matter.
The Uttar Pradesh Police said Dubey’s photographs have been put all over the state mainly at toll plazas including those in Unnao, Kanpur Nagar, Auraiya, Fatehpur and areas near India-Nepal border so that people may tip off the police if they spot the gangster.
The reward on Dubey has already been increased to Rs 2.5 lakh, they said.
The border areas of Lakhimpur Kheri, Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Bahraich and Gorakhpur that lead towards Nepal have been alerted to prevent Dubey from fleeing to the neighbouring country to evade arrest, said a senior officer.
Police also suspect that he may be hiding in Madhya Pradesh’s Chambal ravines, the officer added.
Dubey and his men killed eight policemen mostly in their 20s and 30s, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Mishra (54) in an ambush at Bikru village in Chaubeypur area on July 3.
The others are Mahesh Kumar Yadav (42), Sub-Inspector Anoop Kumar Singh (32), Sub-Inspector Nebu Lal (48) and Constables Jitendra Pal (26), Sultan Singh (34), Bablu Kumar (23) and Rahul Kumar (24).