Judicial commission to probe Atiq killing

NEW DELHI/ LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday reviewed the security situation in the state following the killing of gangster turned politician Atiq Ahmad and his brother, Khalid Azeem alias Ashraf, on Saturday night in Prayagraj. The CM also announced a three-member judicial commission to probe the killing of gangsters.

The state home department constituted the commission under the Commission of Inquiry Act of 1952.

The commission will have to submit its report to the government within two months. It will be headed by retired high court judge Arvind Kumar Tripathi, with retired judge Brijesh Kumar Soni and former DGP Subesh Kumar Singh as its members, the officials said.

A day after Atiq and Ashraf were shot dead at point-blank range, the Uttar Pradesh police tightened security across the state. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have been issued in all districts of Uttar Pradesh to prevent any untoward incidents.

Police patrolling was intensified on Sunday in Prayagraj's Chakiya area, where Atiq's house is located. Internet services remain suspended in Prayagraj district as part of the security measures.

Atiq and Ashraf were shot dead at point-blank range by three men posing as journalists in the middle of a media interaction on their way to a medical college for a checkup, late on Saturday evening. The police personnel were escorting the two brothers at the time of the shooting.

Briefing reporters about the incident, Prayagraj police commissioner Ramit Sharma said on Saturday that the three assailants, who were arrested immediately after the incident, had joined the group of media persons who were trying to get sound bites from Atiq and Ashraf.

"In accordance with a mandatory legal requirement, Atiq and Ashraf were brought to the hospital for a medical examination. According to preliminary information, three men posing as journalists approached them and opened fire. Atiq and Ashraf were killed in the attack. The attackers have been held and are being questioned," Mr Sharma added.

The Prayagraj police on Sunday registered a case against the three assailants. SHO of Dhoomanganj police station Rajesh Kumar Maurya said the case has been registered against Lavlesh Tiwari (a resident of Banda), Mohit alias Sunny (Hamirpur) and Arun Maurya (Kasganj) under Sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC, the Arms Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act.

The police had also recovered the arms used in the crime from the crime scene.

Atiq and Ashraf, both jailed in Prayagraj, were in handcuffs when they were killed in full view of the media crews around 10 pm on Saturday.

The horrifying visuals were circulated widely on social media platforms and television channels. The last rites of Atiq's son Asad, who was gunned down in a police encounter in Jhansi on April 13, were performed here just hours before the shooting.

Police constable Man Singh was injured in the firing incident as a bullet hit his arm, an officer said, adding that a journalist was also hurt after he fell during the commotion that followed the shooting.

Video footage showed a man thrusting a gun at Atiq's head as he talked to reporters and the former Samajwadi Party MP collapsing. The footage also showed the three assailants firing at the brothers even after they had fallen.

In 2006, Atiq and his aides abducted Umesh Pal and forced him to give a statement in court in their favour. Mr Pal registered a complaint in this regard.

The Supreme Court had, in April 2019, directed that Atiq be shifted to a high-security jail in Gujarat after he was accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and assault of Lucknow-based real estate businessman Mohit Jaiswal while in jail.

Atiq was named in more than 100 criminal cases, including the Umesh Pal murder case, the police said.

Among the most sensational murders in which Atiq was allegedly involved was that of Raju Pal, the then-BSP MLA who was shot dead in 2005.

Atiq moved the Supreme Court for protection, claiming that he and his family have been falsely implicated in the Umesh Pal murder case and that the Uttar Pradesh police may kill him in a fake encounter.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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