Eight Uttar Pradesh policemen, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police, were killed when they went to a village in Kanpur in the early hours of Friday to arrest one of the state's most notorious criminals. Vikas Dubey, charged in 60 criminal cases including murders, had been arrested several times but had always escaped conviction.
This time too, Vikas Dubey, said to be in his 50s, was allegedly well-prepared for police teams planning to arrest him in a recent attempted murder case.
Road blocks were put up along the route to the Bikru village, 150 km from state capital Lucknow.
The police teams went about removing the blocks, including a bulldozer. When they finally reached the village, gunfire broke out from rooftops and apparently caught them by surprise.
Eight policemen died on the spot while seven were wounded.
Signs of the bloodbath are visible on the road that the policemen took to try and reach Vikas Dubey's house.
Vikas Dubey's criminal record began in 1990 with a case of murder. Over the years, he accumulated charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, extortion and rioting.
In 2001, Dubey was charged with the murder of Santosh Shukla, a Kanpur BJP leader who was chased and shot dead inside a police station. Dubey "surrendered" in 2002 but was acquitted.
On Thursday, three police teams gathered forces and headed to the village to arrest Dubey in a case of attempted murder registered by a villager.
Dubey, who has political links and was also a political party member in the past, allegedly keeps an armed group of henchmen in his village. He is feared in the region and wields influence.
A plac in his village, at the site of a project, describes him as "Zila panchayat member".