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UP Encounter Spree: Another Accused in Umesh Pal Murder Case Killed, Says UP Police

Vijay Chaudhary alias Usman suffered bullet injuries in his neck, chest and thigh during the encounter, a police official said.
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Representational Image. Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Prayagraj/Lucknow: The man who allegedly fired the first shot at Umesh Pal, a key witness in the killing of former Bahujan Samaj Party legislator Raju Pal, was gunned down in an encounter by Prayagraj police early Monday, officials said.

Vijay Chaudhary alias Usman suffered bullet injuries in his neck, chest and thigh during the encounter between Gothi and Belwa under the Kaundhiyara police station area around 5.30 am, Dhoomanganj Station House Officer Rajesh Kumar Maurya said.

Constable Narendra Pal suffered injuries to his hand during the encounter and has been admitted to the local community health centre, police said.

They said the gang members of the gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, the main accused in the 2005 Raju Pal murder case who is lodged in a Gujarat jail currently, gave Vijay Chaudhary his second name "Usman". His brother Rakesh Chaudhary is lodged in Naini Central Jail and a dozen of cases, including murder, have been registered against him.

Police claimed Usman was the one who fired the first shot at Umesh Pal on February 24 outside his home in Dhoomanganj. While Umesh Pal succumbed the same day, his two security personnel died later during treatment. Umesh Pal was a key witness in the Raju Pal murder case.

A video of the killing of Umesh Pal in broad daylight had gone viral on social media and raised questions about law and order in Uttar Pradesh. Following the incident, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath vowed in the state Assembly that he would destroy the mafia in the state.

When contacted, Additional Director General, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar said, "A shooter involved in the February 24 incident was injured in an encounter with police in Prayagraj. He was rushed for treatment to a hospital, where he died."

Kumar said Usman carried a reward of Rs 50,000 for his arrest.

On February 27, Arbaz, who allegedly drove the SUV of the killers of Umesh Pal, was killed in an encounter with the police in Prayagraj.

"Our government is determined to take strict action against those involved in this case. We will nab each and every accused and give them the strict punishment under the law," Deputy Chief Minister Brijesh Pathak told reporters Monday.

"How fearless criminals have become that they are not desisting from attacking even the police. Came to know this morning itself that a miscreant was killed in an encounter," he added.

Umesh Pal's wife Jaya had filed a complaint against Atiq Ahmed, his brother Ashraf, wife Shaista Parveen, two sons, aides Guddu Muslim and Ghulam and nine others at Dhoomanganj police station for the murder of her husband.

The accused have been booked under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of the offence committed in prosecution of common object), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) and provisions of the Explosive Substances Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act.

The Uttar Pradesh Police on Sunday announced a reward of Rs 2.5 lakh for information on five people, including Atiq Ahmed's son Asad, allegedly involved in the killing of Umesh Pal.

Besides Asad, the other four accused on whom the reward was announced included Ghulam, Guddu and Sabir.

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