On Tuesday, Supreme Court has agreed to hear on April 24 a plea seeking to constitute an independent expert committee under the chairmanship of a former Supreme Court judge to inquire into the killing of gangster-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf amid police presence.
An advocate filed a plea a day ago
Vishal Tiwari, an advocate, filed a public interest litigation before the Supreme Court, asking for it to order the constitution of an independent expert committee under a retired apex court judge to look into the killing of former MP and gangster Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf, instead of the judicial inquiry by the Uttar Pradesh government.
The two were killed in Uttar Pradesh police’s custody, while speaking to reporters and while on live television. Three young men have been held by police. Two days before these murders, Ahmed’s son Asad and an accomplice were killed in a police ‘encounter’. The four are accused in the Umesh Pal murder case.
Tiwari has also sought an inquiry into "183 encounters" that took place in U.P. since 2017.
He said although the private assailants were arrested immediately by the UP Police, cops did not protect the Ahmed brothers when the crime was being committed. Nor did they retaliate. This begs questions on police functioning and whether the incident was a pre-planned attack.
PIL focuses on fake encounters
The PIL also focuses on fake encounters, stating that in a democracy the state should be a welfare state and not a police state. “In recent times our nation is witnessing the police encounters and deaths in the police custody which prima facie does not appear to be justified and if such practices remain unchecked and if such police officials remain unpunished then it is an alarming situation for the coming time,” it says.
The plea also questions the ‘encounter‘ killing of gangster Vikas Dubey in Uttar Pradesh in 2020.
Notably, Atiq Ahmed had approached the Supreme Court saying that he feared that he would be killed in an encounter. The SC had turned him down.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)