Uttar Pradesh’s most wanted gangster and the main accused in the killing of eight policemen in Kanpur last week, Vikas Dibey, who has been absconding since the shootout, was arrested from Mahakaal Mandir in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain on Thursday morning.

Dubey was going to Ujjain Mahakaal temple when he was identified by security personnel and the police was informed about the same. After being caught, the notorious gangster confessed his identity. He was then arrested by the police and an interrogation is underway, Ujjain Collector Ashish Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Interestingly, after being caught, the gangster was seen shouting and identifying himself as “Main Vikas Dubey Kanpur wala” even as cops asked him to stay quiet while whisking him in a vehicle.

Following the arrest, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted praises for the Ujjain Police and said that he has spoken with his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath and that Vikas Dubey would be handed over to the UP Police.

The Uttar Pradesh Police had said on Tuesday that 40 teams and the STF were hunting for dreaded gangster Vikas Dubey. The state police chief added that the force will not rest until Dubey is nabbed.

Meanwhile, two of his aides were shot dead by the Uttar Pradesh Police in two separate encounters today morning.

Prabhat Mishra alias Kartikeya, who was arrested on Tuesday during raids at a hotel in Faridabad, where Vikas Dubey was spotted, was killed as he was being brought to Kanpur on transit remand.

According to the Special Task Force (STF), the vehicle in which they were bringing Mishra developed a snag and as it was being repaired, the miscreant tried to snatch the pistol of an inspector and opened fire at the STF team. He was shot dead in retaliatory firing.

Another Vikas Dubey accomplice, Ranvir alias Bauan Shukla, was shot dead by the STF in Etawah while he was allegedly trying to flee in a car.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Etawah Akash Tomar said that they had received a tip-off that a Swift Desire with a Delhi registration number was moving in a suspicious manner.

“When we tried to intercept the car in the Civil Lines area, the miscreants opened fire at the police. Bauan Shukla was killed in retaliatory firing. Three other miscreants who were following in a Scorpio managed to flee. We have cordoned off the area and a search is on for them,” he said.

The SSP said that a pistol, a double barrel gun and some ammunition has been seized from the miscreant.

Bauan Shukla carried a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head and was involved in firing on policemen on July 3 that left eight cops dead in Bikru village.

Earlier on Wednesday, Amar Dubey, a close aide of gangster Vikas Dubey, was killed in an encounter with Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) in Hamirpur.

Amar, a right hand man of Vikas Dubey, had figured prominently in the list of wanted persons released by the Kanpur police on Tuesday. He was a named accused in the massacre.

The UP Special Task Force (STF) gunned him down in coordination with the local police unit in Hamirpur. There was a reward of Rs 25,000 on him after the sensational and barbaric execution of policemen in Kanpur.

Meanwhile, one Shyamu Bajpai, another aide of Vikas Dubey, who carried a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head, was arrested by Chaubeypur police following an encounter on Wednesday.

Shyamu is the second member of the Dubey gang to be arrested, the first being Daya Shankar Agnihotri.

Three others who have been arrested for helping the gangster include his maid Rekha, a relative Kshama Dubey and Suresh Varma – both of whom were cheering the gangster during the shootout.

Incidentally, reports claimed that Vikas Dubey was seen at a hotel in Faridabad near Delhi on Tuesday night but fled before the police could close in on him. Following this, the Haryana Police was put on high alert.

The police managed to access a CCTV grab which showed Dubey, donning a dark black shirt, jeans and mask, was present in the hotel. Another CCTV grab showed him standing on the roadside with a bag, awaiting a vehicle.

In one of the most sensational and barbaric incident, eight Uttar Pradesh Police personnel were shot dead and at least seven others seriously injured including a civilian as they went to arrest local criminal Vikas Dubey and his gang in the wee hours of July 3.

The incident had led to national outrage.

Gangster Dubey was allegedly was informed about the raid beforehand. It is said that Vikas Dubey had received a tip-ff form the police station about the impending raid after which he prepared for the attack on cops.

A letter, purportedly written by slain circle officer Devendra Mishra, also mentioned how the Chaubeypur station officer was trying to shield the gangster.

Meanwhile, the controversial letter is learnt to have been typed on a computer of the circle officer by a lady constable, but was not received at SSP Kanpur office.

Lucknow IG Laxmi Singh, who was asked to probe the matter, submitted her report to the UP DGP H.C. Awasthi on Wednesday evening.

According to official sources, the report says the circle officer’s daughter made the letter viral after her father’s death. The report was submitted to the DGP.

Meanwhile, nearly 68 police personnel of the Chaubeypur police station in Kanpur were sent to the lines, late on Tuesday night as doubts about their integrity emerged following the killing of eight policemen in Bikru village.

This came hours after former Kanpur SSP Anant Dev Tiwari, who was posted as DIG STF, was shifted in the same capacity to PAC Moradabad after his role in protecting the station officer of Chaubeypur was found suspicious and his photographs with Jai Bajpai, a Kanpur businessman said to be Dubey’s financer went viral on the social media.

The action against the police personnel was taken after preliminary investigations found that most of the policemen at Chaubeypur were in touch with gangster Vikas Dubey, the main accused in the killing of policemen.

Station officer Vinay Tiwari has already been suspended and three cops have also been placed under suspension after their call detail records confirmed their links with the gangster.

Vikas Dubey has over 60 cases against him, including murder charges. His criminal journey began in 1990 with a case of murder. After this, a number of cases including murder, kidnapping, extortion and rioting were registered against him.

A sensational murder case against Dubey is of Santosh Shukla, a Kanpur BJP leader in 2001.

Vikas Dubey is also named in another high-profile case of Siddheshwar Pandey, the principal of Tarachand Inter College in 2000.

(With agency inputs)