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Uttar Pradesh government tells Supreme Court of leaving no stone unturned in investigation into killing of Atiq Ahmed

The Supreme Court has been apprised by the Uttar Pradesh government about leaving no stone unturned the investigation into the killing of gangster and former Member of Parliament (MP) Atiq Ahmed.

The status report on the petition raising concern over “encounter killings” in Uttar Pradesh was filed in the Court.

The plea was filed due to the killing of Atiq Ahmed, at point-blank range, this year before the camera and while in the police custody.

On June 30, a status report was filed by the State government stressing that it has been looking into the security lapses that led to the murder.

It also informed that a chargesheet has been filed in the case registered for criminal breach of trust against an arms clerk at Kotwali Police Station in connection with the killing.

The affidavit further detailed police reforms and modernisation measures underway across Uttar Pradesh, including the issue of handcuffing instructions so that accused persons do not escape easily.

The State government has also deputed a Special Task Force to take action against crimes by organised criminals, the affidavit added.

An Anti-Land Mafia Task Force has been formed in all districts and is being monitored through a portal, the State government submitted. Effective action is also being taken against 66 mafia criminals in the State by identifying them at the Uttar Pradesh government and police headquarters level, the affidavit stated.

Due amendments are being carried out in the Uttar Pradesh Gangster and Anti Social Activities (Prevention) Act 1986 as well to tackle the issue, submitted the State government. To deal with organized criminals, a proposal to introduce the “Uttar Pradesh Organized Crime Control Bill 2017” has been sent to the government in July 2017, the affidavit added.

Ahmed was a Member of Parliament between 2004-2009. He was a Member of the State Legislative Assembly (MLA) for 15 years prior to that.

He was shot dead earlier this year while under police custody, after a hospital visit and while under a police escort. The assailants who shot him posed as media persons.

His murder led his wife to move the Supreme Court with a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a judicial probe into the alleged encounter killing.

She also claimed that the Uttar Pradesh Police have been killing other accused persons in such a fashion with impunity in recent times.

That plea sought the registration of criminal complaints against the police officials allegedly responsible for Ahmed’s death.

This apart, the Court is also hearing a petition filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari, in which case the instant affidavit by the State was filed.

Tiwari’s plea has prayed for a probe by a judicial committee headed by a retired judge of the apex court. He also called for such a committee to probe 183 other “encounters” that have occurred in Uttar Pradesh since 2017.

Further, Tiwari has also urged the Supreme Court to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the probe in the alleged fake encounter of gangster, Vikas Dubey.

Tiwari has pleaded for the Supreme Court’s intervention in the issue, contending that that it should step in to address such alleged violations of the right to life and liberty.

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