Kanpur: A senior police officer on Tuesday said that three more people, including a close relative of gangster Vikas Dubey, have been arrested for their involvement in the attack on police personnel where eight officers were killed.
According to the police, the total number of arrests in the case stands at four.
An official police spokesperson said that Dubey’s relative Shama, his neighbour Suresh Verma and maid Rekha were arrested in the case.
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 are yet to be found.
Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kanpur, Dinesh Kumar P said that ten police constables have been sent to Chaubeypur Police Station from the Reserve Police Lines. The constables will serve as a 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 where he suggested that 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 Special Task Force (STF) in 2017 after his arrest in Krishna Nagar.
In the video, Dubey claims to have close links with two local BJP MLAs- Bhagwati Sagar and Abhijeet Sanga and the chief of the Zila Panchayat. Furthermore, he also claimed 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.
Sanga supported people who were against Dubey and said that “My constituency is Bithoor in Kanpur and people from the adjoining village come to me for help.”
Sagar, an MLA from Bilhaur, denied helping Dubey 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 from the ruling party in the state and demanded an inquiry into the matter.
The Uttar Pradesh Police said that Dubey’s photographs have been put up 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 the police off if they spot the gangster.
The police said that the reward on Dubey has already been increased to Rs 2.5 lakh.
A senior officer said that the bordering areas of Lakhimpur Kheri, Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Bahraich and Gorakhpur that lead towards Nepal have been alerted to prevent Dubey from fleeing to Nepal to evade arrest.
Additionally, the officer said that the police suspects that he might be hiding in MP’s Chambal ravines.
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 were 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).