Eight Uttar Pradesh police personnel, including a deputy superintendent of police, were shot dead by the members of a gang in Kanpur on Friday. At least seven others, including a civilian, were also injured in the incident.
The police team was ambushed around 1 am on Friday when they had gone to raid a house in search of notorious gangster Vikas Dubey, after an attempt to murder case was filed against him.
Dubey has over 60 cases against him, including a murder charge for the killing of Santosh Shukla, a former UP minister in the Rajnath Singh government, inside a police station in 2001.
As the police party reached the Bikru village under Kanpur Dehat's Shivli Police Station area to make the arrest, at least eight to 10 criminals opened indiscriminate fire from the rooftops. DSP Devendra Mishra, Shivrajpur Station Officer Mahesh Yadav, a sub-inspector and five constables were killed in the attack.
Giving details of the incident, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police HC Awasthi said the notorious criminal might have got an inkling of the impending raid. He and his henchmen put up massive roadblocks to prevent the police from proceeding towards their hideout.
As the police team was caught unawares, the criminals rained bullets at them from a building rooftop leading to the deaths, Awasthi said.
"Eight police personnel died, four were injured. They are being treated at the hospital. Police from neighbouring districts Kannauj and Kanpur Dehat have also been called," Kanpur ADG JN Singh said, adding that a combing operation is underway.
A source said AK-47 cartridges were recovered from the spot, though police are yet to confirm whether the assault rifle was used by the gang.
Speaking to News18, ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said, "Investigation is underway and nothing can be confirmed at the moment. It seems the criminals used a semi-automatic weapon. Police also resorted to retaliatory fire. So at the moment, it can't be confirmed whether an AK-47 was used by the criminals."
The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and Inspector General of Police have reached the spot and forensics teams carried out an examination of the area.
The Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh police has also been pressed into action, the DGP said.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath paid tributes to the slain policemen and conveyed condolence to their family members. According to a spokesperson, he directed the police chief to take stringent action against the culprits and collect detailed report from the spot.