The Shocking Truth Behind The Death Of A Former Lok Sabha Member And His Brother In Police Custody

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The Uttar Pradesh government faced criticism from the Supreme Court for the death of former Lok Sabha member Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf in police custody in Prayagraj on April 15. The court remarked that “someone is complicit” in the killing.

The court also asked the state government to submit a status report on 183 “police encounters” that occurred since 2017.

The state police reported that 183 people died in various police encounters since the Yogi Adityanath government came to power in March 2017. Many of Yogi’s opponents have alleged that some of these encounters were fake.

A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Aravind Kumar ordered the UP government on Friday to file an affidavit within six weeks with the details of these encounters, the progress of investigation, charge sheets filed and the status of trial.

The bench questioned how someone could just come and shoot Atiq when he was guarded by 5 to 10 people. “How does this happen? Someone is complicit,” the bench said.

The court also issued notice to the UP government on a petition by Aisha Noori, sister of gangster-politician Ahmad, seeking a thorough investigation into the death of her brothers.

However, the court rejected the plea of PIL petitioner Vishal Tiwari for setting up an independent judicial commission of enquiry to look into the police encounters and the role of the police personnel in them, saying that the state government has already constituted such a commission.

The apex court had earlier agreed to hear the petitions, including the one filed by Aisha Noori, seeking a commission of enquiry headed by a retired apex court judge into the “extra-judicial” killing of her brothers.

Ahmad (60) and Ashraf were shot dead at close range by three men who pretended to be journalists while they were being taken to a medical college for examination by police personnel on April 15. The whole shooting was broadcast live on national television.

In an affidavit filed in the top court, the Uttar Pradesh government said that it is “leaving no stone unturned in ensuring a thorough, impartial and timely investigation” into the deaths of Ahmad and Ashraf.

It said that the affidavit contains the status report on the enquiry into the April 15 incident, steps taken regarding the deaths of Mohd Asad Khan, son of Ahmad, and Mohd Ghulam on April 13, and also the measures taken to implement the recommendations of the Justice B S Chauhan Commission.

Former apex court judge Justice Chauhan led the commission that investigated the encounter killing of gangster Vikas Dubey in 2020.

Dubey and his associates had killed eight policemen in an ambush at his native Bikru village in Kanpur district in July 2020. He was arrested in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh and was being brought back in Uttar Pradesh police’s custody when he allegedly tried to flee and was shot dead. The authenticity of the police encounter was doubted.

The status report mentioned the steps taken to implement the recommendations of the Justice Chauhan commission, which had concluded that the police version of the deaths of Dubey and his associates in retaliatory firing incidents in the days following his encounter killing could not be questioned.

It said that there has been a reform of manpower and a total of 10,877 posts at various levels have been created in the police department from April 11, 2021 till date.

It also said that “action on requisitioning of 1,12,177 posts of various cadres is also under progress”.

The status report said that the police department has also undergone a modernisation, following purchase of prison vans, drones, postmortem kits and various other vehicles."


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