Cop killer nabbed after 6-day manhunt
When Vikas Dubey was finally caught, it was in Madhya Pradesh outside a temple, hundreds of kilometres away from where he was last seen in the National Capital Region city of Faridabad. .Updated: Jul 10, 2020 03:02 IST
Five people were killed, at least a dozen were arrested, and a sprawling bungalow was demolished with bulldozers as the Uttar Pradesh set out to “set an example” in its hunt for Vikas Dubey, a gangster who last week was responsible for the audacious attack on a police group that left a deputy superintendent, three sub-inspectors, and four constables dead.
When Dubey was finally caught, it was in Madhya Pradesh outside a temple, hundreds of kilometres away from where he was last seen in the National Capital Region city of Faridabad.
“Five criminals in involved in the shoot-out have been killed in encounters with the police and nearly a dozen arrests have been made. The operation is going on to arrest others involved in the ghastly crime,” said Prashant Kumar, the additional director general of police (ADG), law and order in Lucknow.
The first of Dubey’s accomplices to be killed were his uncle Prem Prakash Pandey and nephew Atul Dubey, who were gunned down allegedly during a gunfight in Kashiram Nivada’s jungles on July 3.
The following day, on July 4, police sent bulldozers to raze Dubey’s bungalow and destroy two SUVs parked in the compound. By Thursday, when Dubey was arrested, three more people linked to him were killed by police, including two of his closest aides: Amar Dubey and Prabhat Mishra.
The five, and two others who were injured in a police encounter, were among seven gunmen who took positions on rooftops on the night of July 2, waiting for a police team led by deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Devender Mishra.
Mishra and seven who accompanied him would later be killed in the gunfire, and some of their bodies were mutilated in an unheard of attack against law enforcement.
The policemen are believed to have walked into a trap, with Dubey tipped off by informants within the police who would later by arrests. The case illustrates problems often regarded endemic in police in India, where allegations of criminal collusion and overreach often run alongside charges of inaction
On Thursday, officials said Dubey is likely to have had continued help from someone on the inside, which allowed him to stay a step ahead. “Without help, he could not have gone this far; we are pursuing some leads. It will become clear as to who helped him,” said an Uttar Pradesh police official, asking not to be named.
The police are particularly looking at who Dubey may have reached out to in the immediate aftermath of the attack when he camped at a friend’s house in Kanpur Dehat’s Shivli town, three kilometres from his village.
It was here that he was enlisting support to help get out of the area alive and surrender, according to the official, who cited the interrogation by Prabhat Mishra.
At least one other police official, who was involved in the hunt, said that Dubey was being tipped off while he travelled over 1,250 km over four states while being on the run.
Till now, the state police has moved the entire staff of Chaubeypur police station, from where Dubey is first believed to received a tip-off. As many as 55 police constables, 10 head constables and 13 sub inspectors were sent back to police lines.
The then station officer Vinay Tiwari and-sub inspector KK Sharma have been arrested and accused of conspiracy to murder and leaking the information. Anant Deo, who served as SSP Kanpur till June 16, was removed as DIG STF after a special report of the slain DSP Mishra surfaced. Mishra had alleged that Tiwari colluded with Dubey, and recommended action against him.
While he remained on the run, the Uttar Pradesh police’s special task force (STF) also went on a spree of arrests, the latest of which included the wife and elder son of Dubey.
In all, according to figures by Kanpur police, the number of people arrested could be as high as 20, including four women who were the spouses of some of the fugitives.
Among them was Khushboo Dubey, who married Amar Dubey four days before the shoot-out on June 29. Police have not given any reason for her arrest, which experts have questioned for being a case of overreach.
Retired IPS officer Prakash Singh, who headed the Uttar Pradesh police between 1991 and 1993, said that while the action may have been sloppy at first, which led to the deaths, the follow up action has been commendable.
“Initially police did not have intelligence about Dubey and his armed men waiting for them. But the action there after has been commendable. The current chief minister, Yogi Adityanath is a no nonsense person when it comes to criminals. He does not let political influence come in way of criminals. The current DGP is also a man of integrity. They may have been let down by their juniors initially,” he said.