Supreme Court reschedules plea seeking independent probe into Atiq Ahmed’s murder

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File photo of members of the Judicial Commission visiting the crime scene, where three assailants shot dead gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf on April 15 in Prayagraj. The Supreme Court on April 24, 2023, pushed the hearing of a petition that sought an independent probe into the murder to Friday due to COVID-19 cases in the court.

File photo of members of the Judicial Commission visiting the crime scene, where three assailants shot dead gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf on April 15 in Prayagraj. The Supreme Court on April 24, 2023, pushed the hearing of a petition that sought an independent probe into the murder to Friday due to COVID-19 cases in the court.
| Photo Credit: ANI

The Supreme Court on April 24 rescheduled to April 28 the hearing of a petition seeking an independent probe by a body headed by a retired apex court judge into the public killings of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf in full view of TV cameras in Uttar Pradesh.

A Bench led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said the case is one among several being rescheduled for a later date after five judges have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The court is functioning with a reduced number of the judges and the Benches have been reconstituted to avoid greater pendency.

The petition was mentioned by advocate Vishal Tiwari, who is also the petitioner.

Mr. Tiwari has also sought an inquiry into the 183 encounters that have taken place in Uttar Pradesh since 2017.

Ahmad, 60, and Ashraf, who were in handcuffs, were shot dead by three men posing as journalists when they were answering reporters’ queries while being escorted by police personnel to a medical college in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj for a checkup.

Just hours before the shooting, the last rites of Ahmad’s son Asad, who along with one of his associates, was gunned down in a police encounter in Jhansi on April 13, were held.

The Uttar Pradesh Police had allegedly gunned down 183 alleged criminals in encounters in the six years of the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government and this included Asad and his accomplice.

“Issue guidelines/directions to safeguard the rule of law by constituting an Independent Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of former Supreme Court justice to inquire into the 183 encounters which had occurred since 2017 as stated by Uttar Pradesh Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) and also to inquire into the police custody murder of Atiq and Ashraf,” the petition has said.

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