Investigators examine the Kanpur encounter site.
Investigators examine the Kanpur encounter site.

Eight policemen, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police, were killed in the wee hours of Friday when they went to arrest a notorious don Vikas Dubey in Kanpur's Bikru village. Seven others were also injured in the scuffle.

The incident, which shocked the entire police force and the State administration happened at Bikru village of Kanpur which is barely 150 km from state capital Lucknow.

The cops later claimed that they gunned down two of Dubey's aides after a chase in a nearby village.

The goons allegedly looted six weapons of the police team including an AK-47.

“Dubey perhaps got the tip-off and was well-prepared when cops went looking for him in a recent attempted murder case. Roadblocks and JCB machines were put up outside the Bikru village. After removing the blocks, when cops finally reached the village, gunfire broke out from rooftops killing them on the spot,” a senior police official said.

Dubey is charged with a whopping 60 criminal cases including killing a minister inside a police station in 2001. Dubey and his gang were still absconding at the time of reporting.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath declared Rs 1 crore ex-gratia and a government job for the family of the deceased cops. “Those responsible for the death of eight policemen during the encounter with gangsters won't be spared,” he said.

Who is Vikas Dubey?

Vikas Dubey is believed to be in the fifties. His criminal record began in 1990 with a case of murder. Over the years, he accumulated charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, extortion and rioting.

In 2001, Dubey was charged with the murder of Santosh Shukla, a local BJP leader who was chased and shot dead inside a police station. Dubey "surrendered" in 2002 but was acquitted due to “lack of evidence”.

“This acquittal became his biggest weapon to wield power not only in his village but across many villages. Locals never mustered the courage to speak against him as they feared nothing would happen to him rather they would be in trouble,” a Kanpur-based journalist says.

Dubey was allegedly a member of BSP and Samajwadi Party in the past. He had been a Zila Panchayat member. Now, his wife is the member, a local journalist says.

Several leader including Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Mayavati condemned the incidence and criticised the Yogi government.

"Another proof of hooliganism in Uttar Pradesh. When the police are not safe, how will the public be?" Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too lashed out, “As the news about the incident in Kanpur came to the fore, a family of four were also killed in Prayagraj. Father and daughter were murdered in Ghaziabad. Looking at this Jungle Raj, the accountability will have to be fixed.”

In a series of tweets in Hindi, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati urged the state government to be "more robust" with regard to the law and order situation in the state.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav called the Yogi government as 'Rogi Sarkar' and demanded strict action against the criminals.

Fake photo, video rattled a BJP leader

As soon as the news of Kanpur massacre and its alleged perpetrator Vikas Dubey emerged, social media users dug out some stuff related to “Vikas Dubey” (a BJP leader from Kanpur) and started sharing it assuming that he was the goon.

The BJP leader eventually released a video insisting that he was not that “Vikas” and also threatened to slap criminal cases on all those who shared his old pictures, videos and news with the caption of massacre accused.

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