The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking inquiry into the killing of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf, by three assailants, while they were in police custody on Saturday night, reports Live Law.
The matter has been listed for hearing on April 24.
The plea filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari also seeks an inquiry into the alleged 183 encounters in Uttar Pradesh since 2017.
Alleging that the attack was pre-planned, the PIL stated that the three accused were arrested immediately by the UP police, however, during the commission of the offence, there was no protection and retaliation from police’s end, which puts a question mark on the transparency of the functioning of the police.
Referring to the Atiq and Vikay Dubey encounter instances, the plea argued that “such actions by police are a severe threat to democracy and rule of law and lead to police state”.
“The police when becomes dare devils then the entire rule of law collapses and generates the fear in the mind of people against police which is very dangerous for the Democracy and this also results into further crime…In a democratic society the police cannot be allowed to become a mode of delivering final justice or to become a punishing Authority. The power of punishment is only vested in the Judiciary,” the PIL plea states, as quoted by Live Law.
Atiq and his brother Ashraf, while going for medical check-up, were killed on Saturday night by three assailants, who shot at them at close range at around 10 PM. The incident happened while the two brothers were surrounded by mediapersons trying to get sound bites from them.
Atiq and his brother are accused in the murder case of lawyer Umesh Pa — a key witness in the 2005 BSP MLA Raju Pal case — who was shot dead in February this year along with two other police personnel.
The three assailants — Mohit alias Sunny (23) of Hamirpur, Lavlesh Tiwari (22) of Banda and Arun Maurya (18) of Kasganj — who surrendered before the police after the shooting, were shifted from the Prayagraj Central Prison to a Pratapgarh jail on Monday. Officials said that the shifting was done on administrative grounds.
The attackers have been sent to 14-day judicial custody by a court.
According to the police, the three assailants posted as journalists, carrying video cameras, mike and media identity cards.
While Sunny is a history-sheeter and has 14 criminal cases, including that of murder, pending against him in Hamirpur, Tiwari faces cases of selling of illicit liquor, manhandling and harassing women in Banda, a police officer said. Maurya’s criminal history is being traced, reported PTI.
Three firearms — a country made A-30 pistol (7.62), a made-in-Turkiye nine-mm Girsan pistol and a 9-mm Zigana pistol — were recovered from them.