Eight police personnel in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur were shot dead on Friday during an encounter while trying to arrest a criminal, PTI reported. Four others were critically injured. Chief Minister Adityanath condoled the deaths and asked the state police to take strict action against the culprits.

The encounter took place when the police team was trying to arrest Vikas Dubey, a history sheeter facing 60 criminal cases, in Dikru village on the intervening night of July 2 and July 3.

Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police HC Awasthi said that Dubey and his men laid an ambush by putting up roadblocks on the route that led to the village. As soon as the policemen cleared the blockade and entered the village, the miscreants started firing at them indiscriminately from the rooftop of a building. A police officer at the rank of deputy superintendent of police, three sub inspectors and four constables were killed in the firing.

“A case under Section 307 [of the Indian Penal Code] was lodged against Dubey,” Awasthi told ANI. “There was retaliatory firing as well but the criminals were positioned at a height. Thus, eight of our men died.”

A forensic team has reached the site of encounter, and the Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh Police has been called to investigate the incident, Awasthi added. The additional director general of police and Kanpur inspector general are also present.