Gangster Vikas Dubey was arrested in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain on Thursday after a six-day manhunt following the Kanpur ambush in which eight policemen were gunned down, officials said.
"Yes, we have arrested him and he is in our custody," Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra confirmed, without revealing details of his arrest.
The arrest by Madhya Pradesh police was reported hours after two of Dubey's alleged accomplices were gunned down by Uttar Pradesh police in separate encounters.
One of them was an accomplice arrested Wednesday by Faridabad police and was being brought to UP on transit remand. He allegedly snatched a pistol from a policeman and tried to flee.
SEE: Vikas Dubey being arrested in Ujjain
Since the ambush in Bikru village near Kanpur last Friday, Uttar Pradesh police have shot dead five of Dubey's alleged accomplices. Twelve people, including two policemen, have been arrested so far.
Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said Dubey will be brought to the state on transit remand.
"Our campaign against all those involved in the Kanpur case will continue till not a single member of the Dubey gang is left," he added.
The Madhya Pradesh home minister did not confirm reports on gangster, carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh for his arrest, being nabbed from within or outside Ujjain's Mahakal temple.
"Don't bring the temple into it. Inside the temple or outside it... he is arrested from Ujjain," Narottam Mishra said.
"We will share details after going deep into the matter. It is a matter of intelligence and we can't reveal it now," he said, when reporters asked if a priest or a security guard had identified the gangster.
"It is a big achievement for the Madhya Pradesh police. They were on high alert after the Kanpur incident," he said.
SEE: Vikas Dubey's arrest big success for MP police: Narottam Mishra
Temple sources said Dubey reached the temple gate in the morning and purchased a Rs 250 ticket from a counter near the police post.
When he went to a nearby shop to buy 'prasad' for the deity, the owner identified him and alerted police, they added.
When policemen asked him his name, he loudly said "Vikas Dubey", following which the cops and private security personnel deployed at the temple nabbed him, the sources said.
Eyewitnesses said Dubey was accompanied by two others. Police are yet to confirm this account.
Lauding the Ujjain police, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted, "Those who feel that after going to the Mahakal temple, their sins will be wiped out, they don't know about the Mahakal. Our government will not spare any criminals."
Chouhan said he spoke to his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath after the gangster's arrest. The MP police will hand over Dubey to Uttar Pradesh police, he added.
The gangster's mother, Sarla Devi, said it was up to the government to do what it wished with Vikas Dubey.
Questioned by reporters on Dubey's political links, she said, "Now, he is not with the BJP. He is with the SP (Samajwadi Party).
SEE: After arrest in Ujjain, Vikas Dubey confesses, "Main Vikas Dubey hoon, Kanpur wala"
Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs and an SP spokesperson have denied any connection with the gangster, who was accused two decades ago of killing a BJP leader on the premises of a police station.
He has faced about 60 criminal cases over the past several years, officials said. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe to ascertain the facts about the "grant of protection" to the gangster and targeted the state government over the episode.
"The Uttar Pradesh government has completely failed in acting with alacrity in the ghastly Kanpur massacre. Despite an alert, the gangster reaching Ujjain exposes the chinks in security and points to collusion," she said in a tweet in Hindi.
Earlier in the day, two more aides of Dubey were gunned down in separate in encounters in Kanpur and Etawah districts in Uttar Pradesh, police said.
Prabhat, who was arrested in Faridabad on Wednesday, snatched a pistol from a policeman and tried to escape while being brought back to Kanpur, ADG Prashant Kumar said.
Two Special Task Force personnel were injured and Prabhat killed in the exchange of fire, the officer said.
Praveen alias Bauwa Dubey was killed in an encounter in Etawah at 4.30 am. He was carrying a reward of Rs 50,000 for information leading to his arrest," SP Akash Tomar said.