Why were Atiq, Ashraf ‘paraded’, not taken to hospital directly: SC asks UP govt

The Supreme Court directed Uttar Pradesh government to bring on record steps taken and inquiries which have been initiated into the killings of Atiq Ahmed and his brother.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to submit a status report on steps taken after the killing of gangster-politician Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf in Prayagraj.

A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Dipankar Datta also sought a report from the UP government on the police encounter of Ahmad’s son Asad in Jhansi.

Asad was killed in an encounter by a special task force (ST) team of the UP Police on April 13.

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Two days later, Ahmad and Ashraf were shot dead at point-blank range by three men posing as media persons when they were being taken to a medical college in Prayagraj for a health check-up under police escort.

Referring to the shooting of Atiq and his brother live on TV, the apex court questioned why they were not taken into the van till the hospital, why were they made to walk and paraded before the media?

The top court was hearing a plea, filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari, who has sought an inquiry into the 183 encounters that have taken place in Uttar Pradesh since 2017.

The petitioner stressed that “such actions by police are a severe threat to democracy and rule of law and lead to police state”.

The plea said extra-judicial killings or fake police encounters do not have a place under the law and further argued that in a democratic society the police cannot be allowed to become a mode of delivering final justice, as the power of punishment is only vested in the judiciary.

(The story has been edited with inputs from agencies)

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