A large police contingent kept a vigil as the house of gangster Vikas Dubey was being demolished on Saturday by the same earth mover which was "used" in the ambush by criminals just metres away to kill eight police personnel who had come to arrest him in Bikru Village.
Most of the houses were locked and only a few anxious people were visible in the village, located almost 45 kilometres from the district headquarters of Kanpur and now scene of the deadly crime on Thursday night that has shaken Uttar Pradesh authorities.
"It was a hub of crime," Inspector General of Police Kanpur Mohit Agarwal said when asked about the razing of the house.
"Most of the villagers have said that he (Dubey) grabbed people's land using muscle power, and built his house. He used to extort money from people," he said.
Police officials claimed that a large team had to be deployed as angry villagers could have attacked Dubey's family.
"But the situation did not go out of control due to the police presence," the IG said.
Soon after Senior Superintendent of Police Dinesh Prabhu reached the village, police officials hired a driver who was asked to demolish Dubey's mansion by using an earth mover.
It was the same earth mover that the criminals had used to block the road and ambush the police team near the house, police officials said.
Before the demolition, Dubey's father and a domestic help were evicted from the premises.
"I have been ailing, so I don't know what has happened. I can't see or hear properly," he said to queries from reporters.
Hundreds of policemen were present in and around Dubey's house and in Bikru village as the house spread on two bighas of land was torn down along with two luxury SUV vehicles and two tractors parked there.
A 12-ft high boundary wall with barbed wires was also razed.
According to the villagers, the new house was built about seven year ago and had CCTV cameras at various conspicuous places inside the premises as well as outside the four entry gates and one main gate.
Around 80 metres from the main gate, there was a four-room luxurious accommodation where Vikas Dubey used to live. It too was demolished
Local police said that Dubey, who had 60 cases against him, maintained a "private militia"' and recruited mostly local youths. He also provided them with weapons.
The tension in the air was palpable in the almost deserted village and locked doors stared at visitors.
A few villagers, when approached, were reluctant to speak. A young girl when asked why many houses in the villages were locked said that most of the people living in the vicinity of her house work in Kanpur, and come to the village on Sundays.
Chaubeypur's station officer Vinay Tewari, whose role in the events that night has come under scanner, was suspended.
"In view of the allegations levelled against SO, he has been suspended, and all the allegations are being thoroughly looked into. If his involvement or that of any other personnel of the police is found in this incident, then they will be sacked from the department, and also sent to jail," IG Mohit Agarwal told reporters.
It is suspected that information on police movement was leaked to Dubey.
Police sources said Tewari claimed that he had gone to Dubey's house "in a bid to persuade him to settle an issue" with Rahul Tiwari who had lodged an FIR against him just hours before.
However, Dubey allegedly assaulted and threatened the SHO who informed circle officer (Bilhaur), Devendra Kumar Mishra.
Mishra, accompanied by a police team from three police stations of Chaubepur, Shivarajpur and Bithoor, then carried out the operation to arrest Dubey.
Deputy SP Devendra Mishra (54) was among those killed.
"Police had not gone there (Dubey's house) anticipating that firing will take place. Police had gone only to arrest him. In sudden firing, a big loss of lives took place," Tiwari said.
He denied any wrongdoing. "Some people are floating this theory only to benefit him (Dubey)," he said.
An official said over three dozens people have been detained in the case for questioning.
All the borders in Kanpur and Kanpur dehat and its neighbouring districts have been sealed.
The other slain policemen were SHO Shivrajpur police station Mahesh Kumar Yadav (42), Sub-Inspector Anoop Kumar Singh (32), Sub-Inspector Nebu Lal (48), constables Jitendra Pal (26), Sultan Singh (34), Bablu Kumar (23) and Rahul Kumar (24).
BJP MLA from Bilhaur(SC) Bhagwati Prasad Sagar said that the village has a mixed population.
Sagar claimed that despite efforts made by Vikas Dubey during 2017 UP Assembly elections to defeat him, he emerged "victorious".