LUCKNOW: In all eight police personnel including a circle officer in the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, three sub-inspectors and four constables were martyred during a post midnight operation against a history-sheeter Vikas Dubey in Bikru village under Chaubepur police station area in Kanpur on late Thursday night.
Dubey has around 60 criminal cases lodged against him. Besides, seven police personnel were left injured with one being critical in the operation which was launched to nab the dreaded criminal in connection with a case of attempt to murder lodged by one Rahul Tiwari.
However, hours after the initial face-off, in a second encounter, a police team led by Kanpur IG Mohit Agarwal eliminated two of the closest aides of Dubey, inside the forest area near Kashiram Niwada village, some 6 km away from Bikru village.
Later, both the neutralised criminals were identified as Atul Dubey, a close relative of Vikas Dubey and Prem Prakash Pandey, his maternal uncle. The police also recovered a pistol from the criminals killed in the second encounter. The criminals had snatched the weapons from the police team during the operation in Bikru village.
A rifle was also recovered from the dead criminals. IG Agarwal said that two cops were injured in the second face off. As per the sources, the operation was being carried out by the police team comprising around 50 cops on the tip off given by one of the villagers. History sheeter Dubey is still absconding.
However, talking to media persons, Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar accepted the intelligence failure which resulted in loss of so many lives. He said a high-level probe was ordered to ascertain the reason for the botched up mission to nab the criminal.
The police sources claimed that initially, Shivrajpur Station House Officer Mahesh Chandra Yadav along with five cops had gone to round up Vikas Dubey from his house in Bikru village past Thursday midnight around 1:30 am.
“Yadav had a verbal dual with Dubey and his henchmen snatched the weapons of SHO Yadav and his subordinates. Consequently, Yadav sent an wireless SOS to Billahuar CO Devendra Mishra who rushed to the spot along with a team of 50 cops from the adjoining police stations to join the operation. CO Mishra had constituted three teams of police personnel.
"It was when the criminals opened indiscriminate fire at the cops, two teams came in the front while the third one was being used as a backup,” said a senior police official.
As soon as Billhaur CO Devendra Kumar Mishra alighted from the vehicle and started approaching the criminal’s hideout, there was a massive firepower unleashed on the police party by the criminals from the rooftops.
The CO tried to take position by entering a neighbouring house which belonged to Prem Prakash Pandey, but Dubey’s aides dragged him outside and shot him in his head point blank leaving him dead on the spot, said a police source. Other personnel were also caught in the cross fire and lost life.
As per the local police sources, around 100 rounds of bullets were fired at the police party from the roof tops. However, the villagers were tight-lipped about the incident. UP DGP HC Awasthi claimed that intense combing operation was on to nab the criminals.
He said that the way criminals had put up massive roadblocks in the passage of the police party with a virtual black out in the village and use of sophisticated weapons from roof tops reflected that the criminals had got a wind of the approaching police party.
The DGP said that special task force of the UP police was also pressed into action to round up the criminals. ADG (L&O) Prashant Kumar along with SSP Dinesh Kumar Prabhu and IG Mohit Agarwal, were camping in the village supervising the investigations.
Officials said borders of the Kanpur division with six districts were sealed. A forensic team from Lucknow was also roped in. ADG (L&O) Prashant Kumar said that intense combing operation was on in Kanpur and also adjoining districts to nab Vikas Dubey.
Force from adjoining districts has also been called in to continue the operation. Meanwhile, taking cognizance of the issue, UP CM Yogi Adityanath expressed grief and sorrow over the martyrdom of the cops.
He paid his tributes to the martyrs and issued directives to the DGP to bring the criminals to books at the earliest and produce a comprehensive report of the incident to him. Later in the day, the CM visited all the injured cops at Regency hospital in Kanpur where they all are undergoing the treatment.
Those cops who lost their life in the operation included, Circle officer, Bilhaur, Devendra Mishra, Shivrajpur Station House Officer Mahesh Chandra Yadav, Police Mandhan station incharge Anoop Kumar Singh, Sub-Inspector Nebu Lal, constables Sultan Singh, Rahul, Babloo and Jitendra.