- Vikas Dubey had arrived at the temple after a 700-km road journey
- CCTV footage showed him being taken away by half a dozen cops
- Shivraj Chouhan said the criminal would be handed over to the UP police
Uttar Pradesh gangster Vikas Dubey, accused of killing eight policemen last week, was arrested on Thursday morning from a temple in Madhya Pradesh after a five-day chase across four states. He was caught just as he emerged after praying at the Mahakal temple in Ujjain, where he had arrived after a 700-km road journey.
CCTV footage showed Vikas Dubey, in a mask, being taken away by half a dozen cops. "Main Vikas Dubey hoon, Kanpur wala (I am Vikas Dubey from Kanpur)," he shouted out while being taken to the police van.
Vikas Dubey was spotted around 7 am when he was apparently trying to enter the temple from a back gate. One version says he was buying prayer offerings to take inside the temple when the shopkeeper recognized him and alerted security guards. When he emerged from the temple, the guards questioned him.
He first produced a fake ID card of a much younger man with the last name "Paul". When prodded, he hit out at the guards, who dragged him to the police.
It is not clear how Dubey, last spotted at a hotel in Faridabad, Haryana, on Wednesday, landed up in Ujjain with the police on his trail.
According to the police, Dubey drove to Ujjain from Kota in Rajasthan after he was spotted in Faridabad, Haryana.
He was in his own car with two associates and could pass off as an ordinary visitor in a white t-shirt and mask.
"It is a big success for the police, Vikas Dubey is a cruel killer. The entire Madhya Pradesh police force was on alert. He has been arrested from Ujjain Mahakal temple. We have informed Uttar Pradesh Police," said Narottam Mishra, Madhya Pradesh Minister.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he was in touch with his UP counterpart Yogi Adityanath on the arrest and the criminal would be handed over to the UP police.
How Vikas Dubey, after evading cops for five days, managed to travel from Haryana to Rajasthan to Madhya Pradesh is among the questions being raised about the arrest.
"We could not arrest Vikas Dubey and he surrendered in Ujjain. We could not arrest him even after such a huge incident and he kept travelling around. This should be investigated," tweeted Amitabh Thakur, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer posted in Uttar Pradesh.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also raised questions about whether it was an arrest or surrender. "We hear that the main accused of the Kanpur-Kand is now in police custody. If true, then the government should clarify whether this was a surrender or arrest. Also his call records should be made public so the nexus can be exposed," the former UP Chief Minister tweeted.
Eight policemen were killed on Friday when they went in a large team to Bikru village in Chaubeypur area of Kanpur to arrest Vikas Dubey.
Dubey - charged in 60 criminal cases including murder, kidnapping, extortion and rioting - had allegedly been alerted to the raid by local policemen and had set up an ambush. When the policemen reached the village, Dubey and his men, armed with AK-47s, fired from rooftops.
The notorious gangster escaped after the massacre. A massive hunt was launched and the bounty on him was raised to Rs 5 lakh.
The police inspector in charge of the police station near Dubey's village was arrested yesterday over allegations that he tipped off the gangster and regularly helped him escape the law.