New Delhi:  A day after he was taken into custody from Ujjain’s Mahakal temple, Vikas Dubey, the mastermind behind the killing of 8 policemen in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur, was  shot dead by the police early Friday morning in what the cops claim was an “encounter” that followed after he tried to escape. Also Read - Vikas Dubey Was Anxiety Patient, Been in Treatment For 3-4 Years: Slain Gangster's Wife

Reports claimed that one of the vehicles of the convoy of Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) that was bringing back the gangster from Madhya Pradesh to Kanpur overturned early this morning on the highway. Following this, he (Dubey) attempted to flee. He allegedly snatched a pistol from the STF team and tried to fire at the police. He was fatally injured in retaliatory firing. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh News: Lucknow Police Announces Bounty of Rs 20,000 on Vikas Dubey's Brother Deep Prakash

He received a bullet injury on the chest which proved fatal. Dubey was taken to the emergency ward of the Hallett Hospital in blood-soaked condition. SSP Kanpur Dinesh Kumar said that the doctors have confirmed the death of Vikas Dubey.

“Gangster Vikas Dubey attempted to flee after the car overturned. Police tried to make him surrender, during which he fired at the policemen. He was injured in retaliatory firing by police. He was later rushed to the hospital”, said SP Kanpur West.

Two STF personnel were also injured in the encounter.

STF officials admitted to the incident but refused to reveal the extent of injuries suffered by the gangster.

Five members of the Vikas Dubey gang have been killed in police encounters over the past seven days.

Earlier on Thursday night,  Richa Dubey, wife of Vikas Dubey, was picked up from her Krishna Nagar residence by a team of the Special Task Force (STF) and taken to an undisclosed destination for questioning. His elder son and one servant was also picked up by the STF.

Richa is said to be Dubey’s partner in crime by supporting his activities and even providing logistic support to him.

Said to be a part of the conspiracy that led to the killing of eight policemen in Bikru village on July 3, she had connected her mobile to the CCTV camera installed in their now-demolished house in Bikru village and would keep an eye on the activities there even in her absence.

Richa had gone missing immediately after the massacre. STF sources said that she will also be taken to Kanpur for interrogation.