Madhya Pradesh police have formed a three-member panel to determine who deserves the 5 lakh reward, their counterparts in Uttar Pradesh offered for the capture of gangster Vikas Dubey, who was killed in an encounter with the latter on July 10, a day after his arrest from the Mahakal temple premises in Ujjain.
The panel was formed after some initial claimants to the reward said they played no role in the arrest of Dubey, the prime accused in the killing of eight policemen in Kanpur’s Bikru village on July 3. The committee comprises superintendent of police (SP), Ujjain City, Rupesh Dwivedi; SP, Ujjain rural, Amrendra Singh; and an additional SP rank officer.
The top contender for the reward is Suresh Mali, who sells puja material and flowers at the Mahakal temple, according to people familiar with the matter , who requested anonymity. Mali recognised the gangster entering the temple and alerted the temple’s security staff, they said.
Security guard Rahul Sharma is also in the reckoning for the reward, they added. Mali spoke to him about Dubey being present on the temple premises and he, in turn, informed the police.
Initially, there were several claimants to the reward. But may changed their statements and admitted that they played no role in the capture of the gangster. Temple security guard Lakhan Yadav and priest Gopal Singh, for instance, initially spoke about the key role they played in the arrest, but could not corroborate their stories.
Inspector general of police, Ujjain range, Rakesh Gupta, said the three-member committee was determining the role that various people played in the arrest of Dubey. The committee’s report would be submitted soon, following which Ujjain police would share it with UP police, he said.
“There will be at least one civilian, a guard and our jawans who made the arrest. The committee has started working on this,” he said.
Suresh Kahar (Mali), the flower seller in Ujjain who first spotted Dubey at the Mahakal temple and informed a guard, said, “I have heard through media that the security guard’s and my name have been selected for the reward. It’s all Mahakal’s blessings.”
After Dubey’s arrest, Uttar Pradesh director general of police HC Awasthy said the reward money would be sent to the Madhya Pradesh state police chief to be awarded to those who merited it.
MP officials said Kanpur police wrote a letter to Ujjain police, asking for the names of people who deserved the reward.
Ujjain’s superintendent of police Manoj Singh was not available for comment on the issue. Inspector general of police, Kanpur range, Mohit Agarwal said he was not aware of any letter going out to the MP police from his office.