Dreaded gangster Vikas Dubey was arrested on Thursday in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain a week after he fled Kanpur following the death of 8 police personnel that he masterminded.
Dubey was arrested during his visit to the Mahakal temple, one of the biggest landmarks in the city.
The security staff at the temple reportedly spotted him, nabbed him and informed cops.
A security guard at the Mahakali temple, Lakhan Yadav said, “Vikas Dubey tried to enter the temple from the back gate at around 7 in the morning. We suspected him of being Vikas, informed our department authorities who nabbed him, and conducted an inquiry for 1-2 hours. He didn’t pay obeisance at the temple. He was accompanied by two more people." The security guard did not mention anything about the ticket receipt of Vikas Dubey.
However, Temple pujari Gopal Singh had a different story to share. He said that Vikas Dubey had a VIP pass for temple visit. Singh said, “He came into the temple and asked me where to keep his bag and essentials. I guided him and gave him the prasad. He went inside the temple, paid obeisance and while coming out of the temple, he was identified by our security personal in-charge Ruby Yadav.”
He added, “We then called Mahakal post-in-charge Vijay Rathore who conducted further interrogation. Dubey tried to flee but was held by security personal."
When asked about the name written on the receipt showed by Vikas Dubey, Singh said that there was no name on the receipt.
Collector of Ujjain, Ashish Singh said, "We are still heading on the interrogation. He was spotted by the shopkeepers near the temple. They informed our security agency authority, who traced him. While he was returning from the temple, he was nabbed by our security personnel where he surrendered. He was further taken to the police station."Ashish Singh added that Dubey's identity was verified through his mobile phone and documents. "We are still in the process of getting further details," added Singh.
However, Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh claimed that a senior BJP leader has set up the arrest to avoid an encounter with Uttar Pradesh Police.
Taking to Twitter, Digvijaya Singh wrote in Hindi: "This seems like a 'sponsored surrender' to avoid an encounter with Uttar Pradesh Police. According to information, a Madhya Pradesh BJP leader has set it up."
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra demanded a CBI probe on Thursday to ascertain the facts about the "grant of protection" to gangster Vikas Dubey.
She also accused the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh of "complete failure" in handling the Kanpur ambush case and arresting Dubey.
Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Akhilesh Yadav asked the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday to clarify whether it was a "surrender" or an "arrest".
"News is coming that the main accused in the Kanpur case is in police custody. If this is true, the government should clarify whether it was a surrender or an arrest. Besides, the CDR (call details record) should be made public so that those hand in glove with him could be exposed," he said in a tweet in Hindi.
Meanwhile, Vikas Dubey's mother Sarala Devi said the government is free to decide her son's fate.
She told reporters that she learnt about the arrest of her son from TV channels. "Vikas used to visit the Mahakal temple of Ujjain every year to offer prayers. The government will do whatever it thinks is appropriate. We cannot say anything much."
She said it is the Lord Shiva who saved his life.
The UP police has left for Madhya Pradesh to take the custody of Vikas Dubey. The search for other culprits in this case is also on.
Meanwhile, Kamlakant Mishra, brother of slain circle officer Devendra Mishra, alleged that the arrest of Vikas Dubey was a planned strategy to save the gangster.
"How could he cover a distance of about 800 kilometres that takes 12 hours without any support to reach the Mahakaal temple? It is now clear that there are some more people involved in the conspiracy that led to the encounter in which eight policemen were killed.
"It is on the advice of these people that Dubey has surrendered. He has been saved from the clutches of death," he said.
(With inputs from agencies)