“How Did (Killers) Know?” Supreme Court Questions For UP On Gangster Murder
The Supreme Court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to submit a report on the brazen murder of Atiq Ahmad and his brother while in police custody.
New Delhi: Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf were gunned down by three assailants.
Questions raised over the brazen killings of a notorious gangster-politician and his brother in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj two weeks ago while in police custody were asked by the Supreme Court on Friday, which demanded a report over the incident.
Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf were gunned down by three assailants on April 15 as they were being escorted by the police to a hospital for a routine check-up. The attackers, who pretended to be journalists, surrendered after shooting the brothers multiple times at close range.
The Supreme Court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to submit a report on the incident. The court also sought a report on the police encounter of Ahmad’s son Asad, who was killed by a special task force in Jhansi on April 13.
“How did they know? We have seen it on TV. Why were Atiq Ahmed and his brother not taken in an ambulance to the hospital? Why were they made to walk and paraded,” the court asked.
The government told the court that the brothers were being taken for a medical test mandated by the court. “As per orders of the court, they had to be taken for medical tests every two days. So, the press knew. We have appointed a Commission to look into the matter,” it said.
“This man (Atiq Ahmad) and his entire family have been embroiled in heinous cases for the last 30 years. This incident particularly is a gruesome incident. We have apprehended the killers, and they said they did this to gain importance,” senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the UP government, said.
“Everyone saw the killings on the television. The killers came in the guise of news photographers. They had passes, were carrying cameras, and were even carrying identity cards that were later found to be fake. There were 50 people there and more people outside. This is how they managed to kill,” he said.
Ahmad, a former member of parliament, had a long criminal record that included charges of murder, kidnapping, extortion and rioting. He was also accused of orchestrating an attack on a businessman inside a prison in 2018. He had been lodged in a high-security jail in Gujarat since 2019 and was brought to Prayagraj for a court hearing.
The case before the Supreme Court, filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari, has alleged that the killings of Ahmad and his family members were part of a pattern of eliminating criminals through extrajudicial means.
Mr Tiwari has sought an inquiry into the 183 encounters that have taken place in Uttar Pradesh since 2017 when the current government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath came to power.
Calling for a report on the killings in three weeks, the court said, “A comprehensive affidavit would be filed indicating the steps taken to inquire into the deaths which occurred on April 15 near Moti Lal Nehru Divisional Hospital,Prayagraj. The affidavit shall also disclose the steps taken with respect to the incident that occurred immediately prior to the one in question and also disclose the follow-up steps taken following Justice BS Chauhan commission report.”