Eight police personnel were killed in the wee hours of Friday as they attempted to arrest a criminal with 60 cases listed against him since 1993. The incident took place in Bikaru village which falls under Kanpur’s Chaubepur block.
Around 1am on Friday, a police team, including a deputy superintendent of police and an inspector surrounded the home of Vikas Dubey, a history sheeter whose many crimes include the murder of a BJP leader Santosh Shukla inside a police station. JCBs had been placed some distance from the house, forcing the team to get down from its vehicles. In the indiscriminate firing that followed, with the criminals having an advantage as they were at a height, eight policemen lost their lives while four were grievously injured. Two criminals were also killed, though the rest, including Dubey, managed to escape. The police action was prompted by a fresh case filed against Dubey for attempt to murder.
The incident has drawn sharp criticism of the law and order situation in the state.
The Samajwadi Party has dubbed the state as ‘Hatya Pradesh’ adding that there was ‘jungle raj’ in the state. Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav tweeted: “Duty bound policemen have to pay for the collusion between those in power and the criminals in the state”. He also added, “This will lower the morale of the police force and also give rise to anger among them”.
The state’s DGP, H.C. Awasthi, said that a forensic team from Kanpur is on the spot and will be joined by another team from Lucknow. The state’s Special Task Force has also been pressed into action. The state’s chief minister Adityanath has expressed his ‘deepest condolences’ over the loss of life and also directed that a report on the incident be immediately presented.
The police action has been questioned on the ground that the team put on the job was too small and the retaliation seemed well planned. Dubey, who has been a former village headman is believed to be in complete control of many surrounding villages. He is likely to have received a tip off about the raid.