On 13th February 2023, news broke of the encounter between Atiq Ahmed’s son Asad and shooter Ghulam in Jhansi. Atiq Ahmed is a former Member of Parliament from Phulpur, Uttar Pradesh, and has been in the news for his alleged involvement in various criminal activities. The news of Asad’s encounter came just 48 days after the murder of Umesh Kumar, who was allegedly killed by Atiq Ahmed himself.
Who is Atiq Ahmed?
Atiq Ahmed is a former Member of Parliament from Phulpur, Uttar Pradesh, and a notorious criminal with over 70 cases registered against him. He has been accused of extortion, kidnapping, murder, and various other criminal activities. Despite this, he has been elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly twice and to the Lok Sabha once.
He started his criminal career in 1979, at the age of 17, when he was accused of murder. Since then, he has been involved in various criminal activities such as kidnapping, extortion, and robbery. He has been named in more than 100 criminal cases, with charges including murder, attempts to murder, kidnapping, extortion, and robbery. In 2018, he was also accused of running an extortion racket from inside the jail.
Despite having a criminal record, Atiq Ahmed has had a successful political career. He was a member of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and contested elections on SP tickets when Mulayam Singh Yadav headed the party. He was elected 5 times back to back to the legislative assembly from the Allahabad West constituency. He also served as a Member of Parliament from Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Atiq Ahmed’s political career has not been without controversies. In June 1995, he was among the SP workers who barged into a guest house in Lucknow, where Mayawati was holding a meeting. Mayawati was his sworn enemy. According to the reports, Atiq accused her of planning his murder while being taken to court from jail in 2002.
In 2016, Atiq Ahmed was accused of assaulting faculty members of an agricultural research institute in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, and was lodged in Sabarmati jail. In 2018, he was accused of running an extortion racket from inside the jail.
What Happened to Umesh Pal?
On February 24, 2023, Umesh Pal was shot dead as he exited the back seat of a Hyundai Creta SUV in Prayagraj. His two police bodyguards were also killed. Umesh Pal’ ‘s murder was planned at the behest of Atiq Ahmed at Bareilly jail in Uttar Pradesh. Atiq Ahmed’s brother Ashraf is lodged at Bareilly jail, who is Raju Pal’s murder accused.
The scene captured in the CCTV footage later revealed that around 12 men fired at Umesh Pal and his two guards named Sandeep and Raghvendra. While Umesh died on the spot, Sandeep succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital. Raghvendra is in critical condition and is currently undergoing treatment at a local hospital.
The Encounter in Jhansi
On 13th February 2023, Asad Ahmed and shooter Ghulam were killed in an encounter with the police in Jhansi. The police had received a tip-off about their location, and a team was sent to apprehend them. However, Asad and Ghulam opened fire at the police, leading to the encounter. Both of them were killed in the exchange of fire.
According to a news article by Indian Express, both the NHRC and the Supreme Court have emphasized that encounters should only be used as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted. In cases where the use of force is deemed necessary, the NHRC has stressed the importance of ensuring that it is proportionate to the threat posed by the suspect.
The Supreme Court has also issued guidelines on the use of force in encounters. In a landmark judgment in 2014, the court held that encounters should be treated as the “rarest of rare” cases and should be conducted strictly in accordance with the law. The court also stated that the police must follow a set of guidelines before resorting to the use of force, including identifying themselves and warning the suspect before opening fire.
Moreover, the NHRC has emphasized the importance of conducting impartial investigations into encounters to ensure that they are not used as a means of settling personal scores or as a tool of extrajudicial punishment. The NHRC has also called for an independent agency to be set up to investigate encounters, separate from the police department.
It is important to note that encounters have been widely criticized by human rights organizations and civil society groups, who argue that they are often used as a means of circumventing the legal process and are open to abuse. In many cases, encounters are used to target marginalized communities, such as Muslims and Dalits, who are often subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, and extrajudicial killings by the police.
In conclusion, the NHRC and the Supreme Court of India have laid down guidelines and procedures to regulate encounters and ensure that they are conducted in accordance with the law. However, encounters remain a contentious issue, and there are concerns that they are often used as a means of circumventing the legal process and targeting marginalized communities. It is important for the authorities to take steps to ensure that encounters are not used as a tool of extrajudicial punishment and that they are conducted in a way that respects human rights and the rule of law.
Reactions to the Encounter
The encounter of Atiq Ahmed’s son Asad and shooter Ghulam has been met with mixed reactions. While some people have praised the police for their swift action, others have raised questions about the legality of encounters and the use of extrajudicial force. Atiq Ahmed’s family members have alleged that Asad was killed in a fake encounter, and have demanded a judicial inquiry into the matter.
The encounter between Atiq Ahmed’s son Asad and shooter Ghulam has once again brought the issue of encounters and extrajudicial force to the forefront. While the police have claimed that they acted in self-defense, questions have been raised about the legality of such encounters and the need for a more