The police on Tuesday arrested three more people, including a close relative of gangster Vikas Dubey in the Kanpur encounter case, PTI reported. So far, four people have been arrested, a police officer said.

Those held on Tuesday are Dubey’s relative Shama, his neighbour Suresh Verma, and maid Rekha. Rekha’s husband, Daya Shankar Agnihotri, was arrested in an encounter early on July 7. There was a reward of Rs 25,000 for Agnihotri’s arrest. Seventeen more accused are still absconding.

Kanpur Senior Superintendent of Police Dinesh Kumar P said 10 police officers have been sent to Chaubepur Police Station from the reserve police lines, as replacements for the personnel who were suspended for their alleged role in the encounter. The personnel were Chaubepur Station Officer Vinay Tiwari, sub-inspectors Kunwarpal and Krishna Kumar Sharma, and constable Rajeev.

A deputy superintendent of police, three sub inspectors and four constables were shot dead while trying to arrest Dubey, who has 60 criminal cases against him. The encounter happened in Bikru village in Kanpur on the intervening night of July 2 and July 3. Four others were critically injured.

The cash reward for Dubey’s arrest has also been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh. The Uttar Pradesh Police said they have put up the gangster’s photographs all over the state, mainly at toll plazas. Officials at the border areas of Lakhimpur Kheri, Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Bahraich and Gorakhpur that lead towards Nepal, have been alerted. The police said they also suspect the gangster may be hiding in the Chambal Valley in Madhya Pradesh.

In video, Dubey claims closeness with two BJP MLAs

Meanwhile, a video of Dubey from 2017 has gone viral on social media, PTI reported. In the video, Dubey claims to have close links with two local Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs – Bhagwati Sagar and Abhijeet Sanga, and the head of the Zilla Parishad. He also claims in the video that Sagar and Sanga helped him when he got into trouble with the police.

However, both BJP leaders denied Dubey’s claims. “My constituency is Bithoor in Kanpur and people from the adjoining village come to me for help,” Sagar said. He claimed he had recommended action against people who support Dubey.

Sanga, who is the legislator from Bilhaur, said he had no links with Dubey, and claimed that the video was being circulated on social media to malign him.