Three persons were arrested on Tuesday over last week's ambush of a police team by the henchmen of Vikas Dubey and transferred a DIG, shortly after another officer accused him of having links with an associate of the gangster.
The transfer order, involving three other officers as well, did not link the move with the allegations against Deputy Inspector General Anant Deo, now posted out from the state's Special Task Force (STF) to the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) in Moradabad.
But only hours earlier, Inspector General (Civil Defence) Amitabh Thakur made it known that he has written to the state police chief HC Awasthy seeking an inquiry against Deo and his transfer while the probe is on. However, no such inquiry has been ordered.
Deo was Kanpur's Senior Superintendent of Police in March when Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Mishra purportedly wrote a damning letter, which surfaced on social media after he was killed in the ambush.
Seven other policemen were killed along with him early last Friday when they reached Bikru village near Kanpur to arrest Dubey.
The unverified letter to the then Kanpur SSP alleged that Chaubeypur station officer Vinay Tiwari had watered down an FIR lodged against the gangster. It suggested that Tiwari and Dubey were close.
Tiwari is already under suspension after police suspected that he may have tipped off Dubey about the raid to arrest him, leading to the ambush.
Police said there is no record of the purported letter, which is undated and carries no serial number. Anant Deo also said that the signature on it does not match that of the slain officer. But police said they will still investigate into the letter seen on social media.
Lucknow Range IG Lakshmi Singh on Tuesday began a probe into it, visiting the office of Circle Officer (Bilhaur), the post held by the killed DSP. The IG questioned the staff, checked records and computer data, said an official.
She also seized a computer hard disk, pen drives and some documents, the official added. Police on Tuesday said they have arrested three more people -- Dubey's relative Shama, neighbor Suresh Verma and domestic help Rekha.
Rekha's husband Dayashankar Agnihotri, a key member of the Dubey's gang, is already behind bars, arrested Sunday after an encounter in which police shot him in the leg.
Police have named 21 people in the FIR registered after the attack. The FIR also mentioned 50-60 unidentified people.
The Kanpur police released the photos of 15 criminals said to be close to Dubey. They are putting up posters carrying the pictures of these alleged criminals, most of them carrying a reward of Rs 25,000 for their arrest.
Vikas Dubey, with a reward of Rs 2.50 lakh on him, remained elusive. His posters too have been plastered at road toll plazas, including those in Unnao, Kanpur Nagar, Auraiya, Fatehpur and areas near the India-Nepal border.
Police have issued alerts in Lakhimpur Kheri, Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Bahraich and Gorakhpur to stop Vikas Dubey from escaping across the border into Nepal.
IG Amitabh Thakur has sought an inquiry into the alleged closeness between Deo and Jai Bajpai, a "frontman" of gangster Dubey.
A video clip from 2017, apparently shot while Dubey was being interrogated by the STF after his arrest in Lucknow, has also appeared on social media.
In the clip, the alleged gangster suggests he has links with two local BJP MLAs, Bhagwati Sagar and Abhijeet Sanga, and the district panchayat chief. He is heard claiming that Sagar and Sanga had helped him in the past when he faced police action. Both leaders denied this.
"My constituency is Bithoor in Kanpur and people from the adjoining village come to me for help," said Sanga, adding that on several occasions he had recommended action in support of people who were against Dubey.
Bilhaur MLA Sagar said the clip was being circulated to malign his image. The two MLAs said Dubey usually associated himself with leaders belonging to the ruling party in the state. They demanded an inquiry into the matter.