Umesh Pal murder: Gangster-politician Atiq Ahmed moves SC, says fears UP Police will kill him
NEW DELHI/PRAYAGRAJ: Gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed on Wednesday sought protection from the Supreme court saying he feared being killed in a fake encounter by the Uttar Pradesh Police, days after a key witness in the 2005 Raju Pal murder and his two security guards were gunned down.
His plea comes on a day a BJP MP indirectly warned of such a possibility. Also on Wednesday, the house of an Atiq Ahmed aide where the politician also stayed earlier was bulldozed by municipal authorities in Prayagraj, citing a civic law violation.
The former Samajwadi Party MP, who is lodged at a Gujarat jail, said the UP Police in all likelihood will seek his remand to take him to Prayagraj.
He “genuinely apprehends that he may be eliminated during this transit period”, the plea filed in the Supreme Court said, seeking directions to the Centre and the state government to ensure his security.
On Twitter, Subrat Pathak, the BJP MP from Kannauj, recalled the 2020 death of gangster Vikas Dubey in an alleged exchange of fire with policemen who were accompanying him. The car carrying them had overturned, according to the police version.
Pathak called the killing of Umesh Pal and the police personnel “a direct attack” on Uttar Pradesh government.
“Remember, when Vikas Dubey didn’t survive, it is not necessary to tell what would happen to these evil people,” he tweeted in Hindi. “And I would not be surprised at all if Atiq’s car too overturns now.”
Last Friday, Umesh Pal, the prime witness in the 2005 murder of Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Raju Pal, was shot dead in UP’s Prayagraj. Two policemen assigned to protect him also succumbed to their injuries the second one only on Wednesday.
When the Umesh Pal killing figured in the state assembly on Saturday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said gangsters will be ground into the dust. “Mitti mein mela denge,” he had said in Hindi.
On Monday, Arbaaz, an accused in the Umesh Pal murder was killed in a police encounter in Prayagraj. Atiq Ahmed, accused in the 2005 case, is also booked in the Umesh Pal murder case.
In his plea, Atiq Khan, 61, referred to Adityanath’s statement in the assembly and claimed there is a “genuine and perceptible threat” to him and his family members.
He claimed they have all been falsely roped in by the UP Police in the Umesh Pal case. It seemed that a conspiracy has been hatched to wipe them out politically as well physically, the petition said.
It alleged that Ahmed’s two minor sons have already been taken into “illegal custody” by police and kept at an undisclosed location.
“It is even unknown to the petitioner whether they are dead or alive. The other two sons of the petitioner are also in jail in other false cases,” it said, adding that the petitioner fears that they may be killed in a fake encounter.
Ahmed sought directions to the Centre, state of Uttar Pradesh and others to protect his life against the “open, direct and immediate threat” to his life from high state functionaries of Uttar Pradesh.
The petition said the opposition added fuel to the fire in the state assembly, provoking the CM to make his “mafia ko mitti mein mila doonga” remark, when Atiq Ahmed was “main subject” of the discussion.
“Petitioner genuinely apprehends and believes that the petitioner may be killed in a fake encounter on one pretext or the other by UP police particularly in view of the statement made by the chief minister of state of UP on the floor of the house,” the plea alleged.
He has sought directions restraining the state of Uttar Pradesh and others from taking him from Ahmedabad to Prayagraj or any part of Uttar Pradesh. His interrogation, if any, should be carried out at the Central Jail where he is lodged or at any other suitable place in Ahmedabad itself under the protection of Gujarat Police as well as central or paramilitary forces, the plea said.
If the transit to Prayagraj is at all necessary, it should be under the protection of any central or paramilitary force, he has asked.
Ahmed also sought a direction allowing his advocate to remain present during his interrogation and to quash warrants, if issued by any court, for taking him to Prayagraj from the Ahmedabad prison.
Ahmed pleaded that he and his family members have no connection to the Umesh Pal murder and were named in the FIR due to political and other reasons.
The main reason seems to be that his wife has joined the BSP and the party declared her as a candidate for the post of mayor in the coming election, the petition claimed.
“It was very well known to the rivals of the petitioner that if anything were to happen to Umesh Pal, then the petitioner would certainly be the prime suspect in view of the pending case against him by Umesh Pal and he will be made an accused. The same has been done,” it said. (PTI)