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Umesh Pal murder case: Supreme Court dismisses Atiq Ahmad plea seeking protection during transfer to UP

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed as withdrawn a petition filed by gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, seeking protection during shifting from Sabarmati jail in Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh in connection with the murder case of Umesh Pal Yadav.

The Bench led by Justice Ajay Rastogi refused to grant security to the gangster-turned-politician on the grounds that this court was not inclined to entertain such pleas.

The Apex Court, while noting that the State machinery will take care of him, directed the petitioner to approach the High Court for relief.

The petitioner contended that the threat to his life was continuing, as an open threat has been issued on the Floor of the House. Additional Advocate General Sharan Dev Singh Thakur appeared for the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Atiq, an accused in the murder case of Umesh Pal Yadav, moved the Supreme Court on March 1, apprehending a fake encounter at the hands of Uttar Pradesh police. 

Advocate Hanif Khan filed the application on behalf of Ahmed, stating that he should not be shifted from Sabarmati jail in Gujarat, where he was currently lodged in connection with kidnapping of a businessman, for hearing in the Umesh Pal murder case in Uttar Pradesh, as there was a threat to his safety and life. 

The petition contended that taking in view the statements of some Ministers in the UP government, it looked like that a fake encounter of the former Samajwadi Party leader could take place during his shifting from Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh.

The petition placed reliance on a statement by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath saying that the mafia and the accused would be razed to the ground. 

Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak has also expressed the possibility of overturning of vehicles, noted the plea.

The petitioner said that if it was urgent to bring him to UP, then he should be brought under the protection of the Central Force. Otherwise, trial in all his cases should be conducted through video-conferencing only, he added.

The plea further contended that if interrogation by Uttar Pradesh police was necessary, then this should be done in Gujarat itself under the supervision of the Gujarat Police around the court premises. 

Umesh Pal was a key witness in the murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal, who was killed in 2005 allegedly on the directions of Ahmed.

The SP leader was the prime accused in the 2005 murder of Raju Pal. He was further accused of hatching Umesh Pal’s murder conspiracy from inside Gujarat’s Sabarmati jail, where he is currently lodged.

On February 24 this year, Umesh was gunned down outside his residence in Sulem Sarai area of Prayagraj in broad daylight. Umesh and one of the policemen, identified as Sandeep Nishad, died, while another security personnel, Raghvendra Singh, had suffered critical injuries during the shootout.

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