Uttar Pradesh gangster Vikas Dubey was arrested this morning after a five-day hunt during which he travelled across three states to end up at a temple in Madhya Pradesh. Moments after he stepped out of the Mahakal temple in Ujjain, the notorious criminal was confronted. “Main Vikas Dubey hoon, Kanpur wala (I am Vikas Dubey of Kanpur),” he shouted out, held by several policemen and slapped by one of them soon after the outburst. Vikas Dubey, charged in 60 cases including murders, escaped last Friday after killing eight policemen in an ambush he had set up to avoid arrest.
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Vikas Dubey, said to be in his 50s, was recognised when he bought prasad and entered the Mahakal temple. As security guards confronted him, he produced a fake ID. When he hit out at them, the guards turned him over to the police.
Dubey, last seen at a hotel in Faridabad, Haryana, reportedly drove in an orange car with a UP number plate from Faridabad, through Kota in Rajasthan to Madhya Pradesh without being checked.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said Dubey drove into the state with two aides; he had a fake ID which declared his last name as “Paul”.
The arrest was reported hours after two of Dubey’s accomplices were shot dead by Uttar Pradesh police in separate encounters.
One of them was arrested in Wednesday from the Faridabad hotel where Dubey had been sighted. On the way to UP, he allegedly snatched a pistol from a policeman trying to fix a flat tyre and tried to run away.
On Friday last, a large team of policemen who went to Dubey’s Bikru village to arrest him in an attempted murder case was caught by surprise when there was indiscriminate firing from rooftops. Eight policemen were killed. Dubey escaped after the massacre.
The UP administration tore down Dubey’s house and launched a massive hunt for him. Over the last week, five of Dubey’s accomplices were killed.
Two policemen are among dozen arrested. The policemen, including the inspector in charge of the police station near Dubey’s village, allegedly alerted the gangster to the police team heading to arrest him. Over 60 policemen of that station have been removed and posted in police lines.
Questions have been raised about Vikas Dubey’s long run through three states without being caught. Opposition leaders have questioned whether the gangster surrendered or was arrested.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said he had been in touch with his UP counterpart Yogi Adityanath. “Those who feel that after going to the Mahakal temple their sins will be wiped out, don’t know the Mahakal. Our government will not spare any criminals,” Mr Chouhan tweeted.