Three more people including a close relative of gangster Vikas Dubey involved in the attack in which eight police personnel were killed have been arrested, a senior police officer said on Tuesday.
According to the police, the total number of arrests in the case now stands at four.
Dubey’s relative Shama, his neighbour Suresh Verma, and maid Rekha were arrested in the case, an official police spokesperson said here.
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 ₹ 25,000 along with 17 others who continue to remain elusive.
Ten police constables have been sent to Chaubeypur Police Station from the reserve police lines, said SSP, Kanpur Dinesh Kumar P.
This is in 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.
No record of DSP writing letter alleging links
Police on Tuesday said there was no record of Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Mishra having written a letter weeks before his death alleging links between the now suspended Chaubeypur station officer and Vikas Dubey.
The purported letter, which surfaced on social media on Monday, alleged that station officer Vinay Tiwari had got a serious charge against Dubey dropped. However, the letter carried no serial number or date.
Bilhaur Circle Officer Devendra Mishra was among the eight policemen killed in an ambush by the gangster’s henchmen at Bikru village near Kanpur early Friday morning.
Senior Superintendent of Police Dinesh Kumar Prabhu said that there was no record of the letter in which Mishra was supposed to have made the serious allegations against Tiwari.
The SSP said records at the offices of CO Bilhaur and SP rural were checked, but no such letter was found.
He further said that all office records were thoroughly checked in the confidential section of his own office, including police office and SSP camp office, but there was no entry of any letter.
“I also questioned the clerks who deal with the section, but they denied having any information regarding the letter,” SSP asserted.
The SSP, however, claimed that the matter is under investigation and efforts are on to probe the charges.
The police suspect that Tiwari may have tipped off Dubey that a police team was on its way to arrest him.
According to the purported letter circulating on social media, Mishra had written that Dubey was booked on charges of rioting, extortion and criminal intimidation in a case.
“Showing sympathy to such a notorious criminal in such a way by the station officer and not taking any action brings the integrity of Vinay Tiwari into question,” it said.
It mentioned that it also came to light from other sources that Tiwari used to visit Dubey frequently.
Mishra’s alleged letter to the SSP said that if the station officer does not change his style of working, then a serious incident could occur.
Meanwhile, the police on Tuesday started house searches in Bikru villages in which they seized several documents related to Dubey, a senior police official said.
Viral video of Dubey
Meanwhile, a 2017 video of Dubey has gone viral on social media in which he suggested 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 STF in 2017 after his arrest from Krishna Nagar.
In the clip, Dubey claims to have close links with two local BJP MLAs, Bhagwati Sagar and Abhijeet Sanga and the chief of the Zila panchayat.
He also claims in the video 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.
“My constituency is Bithoor in Kanpur and people from the adjoining village come to me for help,” said Sanga, adding that on several occasions, he had recommended action supporting people who were against Dubey.
Sagar, who is the MLA from Bilhaur, denied helping Dubey ever 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 belonging to the ruling party in the state and demanded an inquiry into the matter.
The Uttar Pradesh Police said Dubey’s photographs have been put 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 off the police if they spot the gangster.
The reward on Dubey has already been increased to ₹ 2.5 lakh, they said.
The border areas of Lakhimpur Kheri, Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Bahraich and Gorakhpur that lead towards Nepal have been alerted to prevent Dubey from fleeing to the neighbouring country to evade arrest, said a senior officer.
Police also suspect that he may be hiding in Madhya Pradesh’s Chambal ravines, the officer added.
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 are 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).