An official indicated that Vikash Dubey, who who is wanted in 60 criminal cases, may have fled to Nepal or taken shelter in a neighbouring state
Kanpur district administration on Saturday bulldozed the mansion of criminal Vikas Dubey who was behind the killing of eight Uttar Pradesh police personnel on Thursday.
A large police contingent kept a vigil as the house erected on two bighas (roughly 14,850 square feet) of land was razed to the ground by the same earth mover which was “used” by criminals to kill the policemen who had come to arrest Dubey in Bikru village.
Most of the houses were locked and only a few anxious people were visible in the village, located almost 45 kilometres from the district headquarters of Kanpur and now scene of the deadly crime on Thursday night that has shaken Uttar Pradesh authorities.
“It was a hub of crime,” Inspector General of Police, Kanpur Mohit Agarwal told PTI when asked about the razing of the house.
“Most of the villagers have said that he (Dubey) grabbed people’s land using muscle power, and built his house. He used to extort money from people,” he added.
Police officials claimed that a large team had to be deployed as angry villagers could have attacked Dubey’s family. “But the situation did not go out of control due to the police presence,” Agarwal said.
File image of Vikas Dubey. News18 Hindi
Soon after Senior Superintendent of Police Dinesh Prabhu reached the village, police officials hired a driver who was asked to demolish Dubey’s mansion by using an earth mover. TV channels also showed visuals of luxury cars in the complex being crushed by the giant machines. A 12-ft high boundary wall with barbed wires was also razed.
Before the demolition, Dubey’s father and a domestic help were evicted from the premises. “I have been ailing, so I don’t know what has happened. I can’t see or hear properly,” he said to queries from reporters.
According to the villagers, the new house was built about seven year ago and had CCTV cameras at various conspicuous places inside the premises as well as outside the four entry gates and one main gate.
Around 80 metres from the main gate, there was a four-room luxurious accommodation where Dubey used to live, which was also demolished.
Local police told PTI that Dubey, who had 60 cases against him, maintained a “private militia” and recruited mostly local youths. He also provided them with weapons, the news agency said.
The tension in the air was palpable in the almost deserted village and locked doors stared at visitors.
A few villagers, when approached, were reluctant to speak. A young girl when asked why many houses in the villages were locked said that most of the people living in the vicinity of her house work in Kanpur, and come to the village on Sundays.
Police sets up teams to nab Dubey
Swinging into action after the brutal deaths of the policemen, 25 police teams fanned out across Uttar Pradesh and other states to hunt down Dubey and his associates, officials said. The attackers had fled, snatching weapons from the dead and the wounded policemen.
Police officials also said a surveillance team was scanning over 500 mobile phones and frantic efforts were on to retrieve information from the devices.
An official indicated that about 30 people were detained for questioning. Another said there was a possibility that Dubey may have fled to Nepal or taken shelter in a neighbouring state.
A cash reward of Rs 50,000 has been announced for providing information about Dubey and the identity of the information provider will be kept secret, News18 reported.
Chaubeypur SO suspended
Chaubeypur’s station officer Vinay Tewari, whose role in the events that night has come under scanner, was suspended.
“In view of the allegations levelled against SO, he has been suspended, and all the allegations are being thoroughly looked into. If his involvement or that of any other personnel of the police is found in this incident, then they will be sacked from the department, and also sent to jail,” IG Mohit Agarwal told reporters.
Media reports suggest and primary investigation into the events suggest that Dubey was forewarned about the police movement.
Hindustan Times, quoting sources in the local police department, said the initial investigation hinted that Dubey was well aware about the police raid at his house and prepared to deal with it.
“Dubey was apparently tipped off by his men in the police department about the force from three police stations Bilhaur, Bithoor and Chaubeypur moving towards his village,” the Hindustan Times report said.
Dubey had already blocked the main entrance of the village with heavy machines, forcing the police personnel to walk to Dubey’s house on foot, barely anticipating a shootout, the report added.
Tewari, however, has denied any wrongdoing. He claimed that he had gone to Dubey’s house “in a bid to persuade him to settle an issue” with Rahul Tiwari who had lodged an FIR against him just hours before.
However, Dubey allegedly assaulted and threatened the SO who informed circle officer (Bilhaur), Devendra Kumar Mishra.
Mishra then reached Bikru with a team drawn from three police stations in the vicinity to arrest Dubey. But they were caught by surprise instead. Dubey’s henchmen put up roadblocks to stop policemen from reaching their hideout. As they got off from their vehicles at one hurdle, there were caught by a hail of gunfire.
Mishra (54) was among those killed. The other slain policemen were SO Shivrajpur police station Mahesh Kumar Yadav (42), Sub-Inspector Anoop Kumar Singh (32), Sub-Inspector Nebu Lal (48), constables Jitendra Pal (26), Sultan Singh (34), Bablu Kumar (23) and Rahul Kumar (24).
Later, the police sealed the entire area and began a combing operation, which led to another encounter with Dubey’s men in Nivada village in which two people were killed.
Tewari told reporters in a video widely circulated on Saturday that the team went to Dubey’s house only to arrest him and did not anticipate the ambush.
He also reportedly lost his cool when questioned by reporters if he was lagging behind deliberately.
“Do you think that this could have happened. It is the jurisdiction of my police station area, and I will be the person to lag behind others? Some people are floating this theory only to benefit Dubey,” he said.
Minutes after the video appeared on local news channels, IG Agarwal ordered his suspension.
An official said that over three dozens people have been detained in the case for questioning. All the borders in Kanpur and Kanpur Dehat and its neighbouring districts have been sealed.
With inputs from PTI
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