Accused of killing of eight policemen in Kanpur's Bikru village, gangster Vikas Dubey had stayed in Uttar Pradesh's Noida for two nights on July 5 and July 6 before being "nabbed" in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.
Sources aware of the matter, who did not want to be named, informed News18 that Dubey was in Noida for his surrender and stayed at the house of a known criminal lawyer.
Sources said that the Noida Police were contacted for Dubey's surrender. However, they refused to carry out the procedure. Later, the lawyer also reached out to the Delhi Police for the gangster's surrender but was also denied.
Dubey then moved to Kota in Rajasthan where his surrender was once again refused by the state police. He finally spoke to one Tiwari in Ujjain whose brother happens to be a businessman in Kanpur.
Sources said it was Tiwari who hatched the plan where Dubey would be at Mahakal Temple in Ujjain.
"This time they had not involved the police," said sources, putting to the rest the conjecture around whether it was a surrender or an arrest.
Several opposition leaders on Thursday raised questions after Dubey was taken into custody. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, on the other hand, praised the efforts of the police in Madhya Pradesh as well as Uttar Pradesh. Both states are ruled by the saffron party.
MP minister Narottam Mishra confirmed that Dubey was in police custody. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he has spoken with his UP counterpart Adityanath.
“Further action will be taken,” said Chouhan. “The Madhya Pradesh Police will hand over Vikas Dubey to Uttar Pradesh Police.”
A Special Task Force (STF) of UP Police, which left for Ujjain on Thursday evening, took Dubey in custody and was on its way back to Kanpur.
On July 3, a deputy superintendent of police, three sub-inspectors and four constables were shot dead while trying to arrest Dubey who has 60 criminal cases against him, in Kanpur's Bikru village. Four others were critically injured. Several of Dubey’s aides have either been arrested or killed in encounters over the past week.
The gangster escaped after the encounter on July 3, following which there were reports of him being seen in Faridabad in Haryana. The UP Police had placed a bounty of Rs 5 lakh on him.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday asked the UP government to clarify whether Dubey surrendered or if he was arrested.
“News is coming that the main accused in the Kanpur case is in police custody,” Yadav said in a tweet. “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.”
Yadav’s comments came after reports said that Dubey went to Mahakal Temple in Ujjain and then himself asked the security personnel to inform the police. After this, police officers came and took him away. Inspector General of Police, UP Special Task Force, Amitabh Yash said that Dubey went to the police station to surrender and was arrested, according to a report in the Hindustan Times.
The situation remains embarrassing both ways for the UP Police who kept searching for the criminal for six days and even confirmed that Dubey was spotted at a hotel in Faridabad.
On Thursday, two more of his associates were killed in encounters with the police in UP. While one of the criminals was identified as Ranbir and shot dead in Etawah, the other was Prabhat Mishra who was taken into custody from Faridabad on Wednesday.
The Bahraich police had launched a massive manhunt along the Indo-Nepal border areas and were intensively checking vehicles in the region amid intelligence inputs that Dubey may escape to the neighbouring country.
Bahraich Superintendent of Police Vipin Mishra had said there were inputs that Dubey may flee to Nepal. Accordingly, an intensive manhunt was launched in the Indo-Nepal border area in coordination with Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel and in jungle areas along the border with Forest Department officials, he said.