Eight policemen were killed and six others critically injured when a local criminal and his gang sprayed them with bullets in Kanpur in the wee hours on Friday.

The incident took place at Vikru village under Chaubeypur police circle in Kanpur.

Police said the deceased include circle officer Bilhaur, Devendra Kumar, who was leading the team, three sub-inspectors and four constables.

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the Special Task Force (STF) to take over investigations and ensure immediate arrest of the criminals.

A forensic team has already reached the spot.

IG Kanpur Mohit Agarwal said  the borders of the district had been sealed and forces from several adjoining police stations had been called in for combing operations to arrest the accused.

The injured policemen have been rushed to the hospital and the condition of two of them is said to be critical.

According to reports, the police team comprising about 50 police personnel had gone to the village around 3.30 a.m. after receiving a tip-off about the presence of Vikas Dubey there.

Dubey and his men had stationed a JCB to block their way and as soon as the police team reached there, they started firing from the terrace of a house. The miscreants, numbering about a dozen, also pelted stones at the police men.

The deceased police personnel have received multiple bullets in the incident.

The gangster and his men later looted the arms of the policemen and made an easy escape.

All senior police officials including ADG Kanpur, IG and others have reached the spot.

UP DGP H C Awasthi said that a massive operation has been launched to arrest the accused.

Vikas Dubey, is wanted in over 60 criminal cases.

In October 2001, he had shot dead senior BJP leader and then chairman of contract labour board, Santosh Shukla, inside the Shivli police station.

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