Vikas moving freely in temple premises
Vikas moving freely in temple premises

Ujjain: Even as Ujjain was getting out of its slumber on Thursday morning, the kingpin of Kanpur encounter gangster Vikas Dubey was arrested at the courtyard of Mahakaleshwar Temple. It is also said that he surrendered in order to evade encounter.

Dubey, charged in 60 criminal cases including murder, kidnapping, extortion and rioting - had allegedly been alerted to the raid by local policemen and had set up an ambush in Kanpur’s Bikru village. When the policemen reached the spot, Dubey and his men, armed with AK-47s, fired from rooftops. Eight cops were massacred.

Dubey fled after the massacre and a massive hunt was launched and the bounty on him was raised to Rs 5 lakh.

Even as the cops grabbed his collar, he kept shouting “Main Vikas Dubey hoon Kanpur wala (I am Vikas Dubey of Kanpur).” This indicates towards the possibility of the gangster planning an arrest in public so that he could evade the possibility of an encounter. Denying claims that Dubey had surrendered, Ujjain collector Asheesh Singh said a shopkeeper identified Dubey when he was entering the temple premises and informed the security guards.

At the temple, the guards questioned him. He first tried to mislead them by producing a fake ID card of a much younger man named Subham. He apparently had checked into a hotel earlier with the same ID. When prodded further, he hit out at the guards, who dragged him to the police station outside the temple premises (See following box). He eventually admitted that he was Dubey. It’s not clear as to how and when he reached Ujjain, Singh added.

In another version, a temple official, Gopal Kushwah, said Vikas arrived at 7 am and after darshan he was questioned by the suspicious temple staff. The staff and security guards then called police from a nearby outpost, following which Vikas was questioned again.

Vikas was on the run since the intervening night of July 2- 3. Unconfirmed reports suggest that two of Vikas’ associates Bittu and Suresh were also arrested. It is also learnt that one Anand Tiwari, a close relative who reportedly aided him at the local level, was also rounded-up.

It is suspected that the gangster along with two of his associates reached Ujjain in a car late on Wednesday via AB Road.

WHEN VEILED DUBEY REFUSED TO UNMASK

Gangster Vikas Dubey was arrested following suspicion as security guards at Mahakaleshwar temple here asked him to remove his mask, said a senior official of a private security company said.

Rituraj Sinha, group managing director at SIS Group Enterprises, which is engaged in the security duties at the temple complex, corroborated the same.

"We were susupicious and asked him to take off his mask. He even tried to move to the back of the line but couldn't as there were other devotees behind him," Sinha said.

HOW YADAV BECAME THE HERO

"As soon as he removed the mask, Lakhan Yadav-- the security guard -- recognized Vikas and asked him who he was. Dubey shouted, 'I am Vikas Dubey, Kanpur'. He was caught by Yadav and supervisor Mohit and the Quick Response Team was alerted. Four more security personnel were on the scene. Immediately, the police station at the temple premises was informed," he added. Dubey was then taken to the police station.

Sinha said Yadav played a big role in helping arrest of the accused.

CLOSE AIDES KILLED

Earlier today, Bahua Dubey and Prabhat Mishra, close aides of the main accused, were killed in separate encounters in Etawah and Kanpur respectively.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in