Uttar Pradesh gangster Vikas Dubey, wanted in connection with the killing of eight police officers in Kanpur, was on Thursday “nabbed” from Mahakal Temple in Ujjain. Sources, however, say that he surrendered and was not arrested as claimed by the MP police.

The situation remains embarrassing both ways for UP Police who kept searching for the criminal for six days and even confirmed that Dubey was spotted at a hotel in Haryana’s Faridabad.

Confirming Dubey’s arrest, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said the Madhya state police were looking for him and had now alerted their UP counterparts. He also said that two aides were also taken into custody with Dubey. Dubey will be taken to Uttar Pradesh on transit remand.

Denying claims that Dubey had surrendered, Ujjain collector Ashish Singh said a shopkeeper identified Dubey when he was entering the temple premises and informed the security personnel. He was traced and when he was coming out of the temple, he was arrested. He put up resistance but eventually admitted that he was Dubey. It’s not clear how and when he reached Ujjain.

Vikas Dubey — who faces about 60 criminal cases including murder and attempt to murder — was last spotted in Haryana’s Faridabad and carried a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh.

The Congress, however, questioned the MP police claim that they arrested Dubey and that he did not surrender. “It looks like a staged surrender to escape `encounter’ by the UP police. My information is that a senior BJP leader from MP has made (the surrender) possible,” former MP chief minister Digivjaya Singh claimed. A tweet from the official handle of the MP Congress said, “Home Minister Narottam Mishra was in-charge of Kanpur during UP elections. You are intelligent (to draw conclusions).”

Two aides of Vikas Dubey were gunned down in separate encounters in Uttar Pradesh this morning. Ranveer alias Bauva Dubey, who was carrying a bounty of Rs 50,000, was gunned down in Etawah district. The UP’s Special Task Force (STF) killed Prabhat Mishra alias Kartikey in Kanpur while he was trying to escape from police custody after allegedly snatching pistol from a policeman. Two constables also got injured in the firing.

Six other men — including four associates of Vikas Dubey’s — and two female relatives of the gangster’s associates, were arrested in three separate operations in Kanpur and Faridabad, Haryana on Wednesday morning.

Eight policemen, including a deputy superintendent of police, were ambushed in Bikru village in the Chaubeypur area of Kanpur, where they had gone to arrest Vikas Dubey and fell to bullets fired from rooftops last Friday.

Kanpur Police arrested the former station officer of Chaubeypur, Vinay Tiwari, and Sub-Inspector Krishna Kumar Sharma on charges of conspiracy. There is evidence that Tiwari and Sharma had tipped off Vikas Dubey about the police raid in his village, Kanpur senior superintendent of police, Dinesh Kumar P, said.

Hours after the Bikru village killings, police had gunned down Vikas Dubey’s maternal uncle Prem Prakash Pandey, and his associate Atul Dubey. Both these men were named in the FIR.

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