Kanpur: In a shocking incident, eight policemen, including a circle officer (CO), were killed and seven others injured when they had gone to arrest a wanted criminal at Bikaru village in Chaubepur area of Kanpur Thursday night.
The police team had gone to arrest Vikas Dubey based on a complaint of an attempted murder of a man from the nearby village.
According to ADG, Kanpur Zone, Jai Narayan Singh, when the police team, consisting of personnel from three police stations of Kanpur, reached Dubey’s house, they found an earth-mover parked outside.
The policemen then attempted to remove the earth-mover to make their way to Dubey’s house. The moment they got down from their vehicles, they were fired at from nearby rooftops, Singh told ThePrint.
When the firing stopped, eight policemen were found to be killed on the spot, he said, adding the incident took place between 12.30 am and 1.30 am Friday.
Dubey and his aides fled after the incident, he said.
According to a police statement, the assailants took away two rifles, including AK 47, and three pistols before fleeing.
The deceased policemen are CO Devendra Kumar Mishra, SO (Station Officer) Mahesh Yadav, chowki in-charge Anup Kumar, sub-inspector Nebulal, and constables Sultan Singh, Rahul, Jitendra and Bablu.
On Friday morning, Dubey’s uncle and cousin — who were absconding since the killing of the policemen — were gunned down in an encounter.
Police team caught off guard
According to Singh, a youth, Rahul Tiwari, from the nearby Jadepur Parsa village, had recently lodged a complaint against Dubey and his associates at Chaubepur police station on charges of attempting to kill him.
Following the complaint, around 20 policemen from Chaubepur, Shivrajpur and Bithur police stations went to Dubey’s house.
Singh said the police team returned fire, but the assailants were firing from rooftops in a planned manner, which caught the team off guard.
Dubey may have got a ‘tip-off’ about police team
Singh said it is possible that someone might have informed Dubey in advance about the arrival of police.
“This is why he had managed to place his men with guns and pistols. Right now, police are investigating as to who might have tipped him,” he added.
DGP H.C. Awasthi, meanwhile, told the media all the 7 injured policemen are undergoing treatment. A full-fledged search operation to find Dubey is going on, he added.
Inspector General, Kanpur, Mohit Agarwal, ADG Singh, and ADG (law and order) Prashant Kumar are at the crime spot and they have been tasked with supervising the entire search operation.
The DGP also visited the crime spot.
Mohammad Ajmal, an eyewitness of the incident, told the media the police team was fired at as soon as they reached Dubey’s house.
The police did not even get a chance to take positions to fire back, he said.
Dubey’s relative Manu Pandey, who lives in the vicinity of his house, said she was sleeping when suddenly she heard sounds of bullets.
When she looked through the window, she saw a man jumping into her courtyard. She then shut the window and within seconds, she heard gunshots. Later, she came to know the man was CO Mishra.
Villagers feign ignorance about the incident
Dubey, who is locally known as Pandit ji, is such a dreaded criminal in his village that most of the residents remained tight-lipped about the incident.
Raju Kumar, who lives merely 200 meters away from Dubey’s house, said he is completely unaware about the matter as he was sleeping at the time of the incident.
He said he did hear gunshots, but dared not to open the doors.
Reena Devi, who also lives nearby, said she had no knowledge about the incident and it was only in the morning that she came to know about it.
According to Reena, Dubey never harassed the poor people in the village. “He is well respected by the villagers,” she said.
The villagers said Dubey was popular among the politicians and had good connections with them.
A villager, who didn’t want to be named, told ThePrint if any party leader needed to win an election in Kanpur, he would certainly come and visit Dubey.
60 criminal cases lodged against Dubey
According to police, Dubey has over 60 criminal cases lodged against him, including murder and attempt to murder.
He had been named in the murder case of Siddheshwar Pandey, an assistant manager of Tarachand Inter College located in Shivli police station area of Kanpur that took place in 2000.
The same year, he was accused of hatching a conspiracy to kill a local resident, Rambabu Yadav. In 2001, he was named as the prime accused in the murder of former BJP state minister Santosh Shukla.
In 2004, his name came up in the murder of a local cable businessman, Dinesh Dubey.
He was arrested on 31 October 2017 from Krishnanagar area of Lucknow, but later released. That year, the Kanpur Police had declared a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head.
In 2018, he had allegedly carried out the murder of his own cousin brother Anurag. Anurag’s wife had filed an FIR against four people, including Dubey. He was arrested in this case, but was released in February this year.
1 crore relief for kin of deceased cops
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, meanwhile, Friday said whoever has perpetrated the incident will have to pay a severe penalty.
“I assure that this supreme sacrifice of our police personnel will not be allowed to go in vain under any circumstances.”
The chief minister also went to Kanpur to pay tributes to the police personnel and announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore in addition to government job for one family member of the murdered policemen.
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