SC Pulls UP Govt Over Killing Of Gangster-Turned-Politician Atiq Ahmed, His Brother Ashraf

The gangster-turned- politician Atiq Ahmed (60) and his brother Ashraf were shot dead at point-blank range by three men posing as journalists in the middle of a media interaction in Uttar Pradesh.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government over the killing of former Lok Sabha member Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf in police custody in Prayagraj on April 15.

The Apex Court has also sought a status report from the state government on 183 "police encounters" that have taken place since 2017, PTI reported.

According to the state police, 183 people have been killed in numerous police encounters since the Yogi Adityanath government assumed office in March 2017, the report said.

The chief minister's detractors have often claimed many of them were staged, it said.

A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Aravind Kumar directed the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday to file an affidavit within six weeks giving the details of these encounters, the status of investigation, charge sheets filed and the status of trial, it added.

"There were 5 to 10 people guarding him (Atiq)...How can someone just come and shoot? How does this happen? Someone is complicit," the bench observed, the report mentioned.

The report said the court also issued notice to the UP government on a plea by Aisha Noori, sister of gangster-politician Ahmed, seeking a direction for a comprehensive probe into the killing of her brothers.

The court, however, rejected the request of PIL petitioner Vishal Tiwari for institution of an independent judicial commission of inquiry to go into the police encounters and the role of the men in uniform in these, saying the state government has already formed such a commission, the report said.

The Supreme Court had earlier agreed to hear the pleas, including the one filed by Aisha Noori, seeking the constitution of a commission of inquiry chaired by a retired Supreme Court judge into the "extra-judicial" killing of her brothers, it said.

Ahmed (60) and Ashraf were shot dead at point-blank range by three men posing as journalists in the middle of a media interaction while police personnel were escorting them to a medical college for examination on April 15.

The entire shooting was captured live on national television.

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

It said the status report contained in the affidavit deals with inquiry into the April 15 incident, steps taken in relation to the deaths of Mohd Asad Khan, son of Ahmed, and Mohd Ghulam on April 13, and also the measures initiated to implement the recommendations of the Justice B S Chauhan Commission, it added.

Former Supreme Court judge Justice Chauhan headed the commission that probed the encounter killing of gangster Vikas Dubey in 2020.