UP: Ex-IPS Officer Amitabh Thakur Files Petition in SC in Atiq-Ashraf's Murder Case, Seeks CBI Probe
Lucknow: Amitabh Thakur, former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer belonging to the UP cadre and chief of political outfit, Adhikar Sena, has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court, seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the killing of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother, Ashraf, on live TV and in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Police on April 15.
Raising doubts over the killings in police custody, the former IPS officer alleged that everything that seems to be related to Atiq Ahmed's murder seems "extremely sketchy, fishy, suspicious."
"Despite these repeated pleas, nothing has been done by the State of UP. For all these reasons, in such circumstances, having no official and effective alternative remedy in these circumstances, considering the importance of the matter, this writ petition is being filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India," the petition, a copy of which was seen by NewsClick, reads.
The former IPS officer has said in the petition that "even though Atiq Ahmed and his brother are criminals, but the manner in which they have been killed, there is enough possibility of state funding of this incident."
Atiq Ahmed and Ashraf Ahmed were shot dead late at night at point blank range in the midst of a media interaction while they were being taken to a hospital by UP Police for "medical examination" in Prayagraj on Saturday night.
The plea, filed by Thakur, urged the top court to transfer the murder case to CBI for an impartial investigation under the direct monitoring of the Supreme Court or the High Court.
The former IPS officer has also sent a 12 point complaint to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) raising questions over Asad, the 19-year-old son of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad 'encounter'.
Pointing out 12 points of “suspicion” in the FIRs and the photographs of the incident that have been shared by the UP special task force (STF), Thakur said it reveals “false claims” made about Asad’s and his aide’s encounter. The objections raised pertain to whether both died on the spot or in the hospital. Pictures of Asad show him lying beneath the handle of the bike, which, he said, was not possible in the case of an encounter. If the encounter was real, Asad would have been lying over the bike and not under it, he claimed.
Speaking with NewsClick, Thakur said, "I hope the apex court will look into my petition and I hope this time justice will be served."
The petitioner informed the apex court that time was of utmost importance in this particular case because there was a chance that the three accused might get killed in judicial custody and the truth would be lost forever
"Thus, there is an immediate need to act in the given case as time is of immense value and the matter needs immediate and urgent attention," the petitioner said.
Thakur also raised questions on how such an incident could take place in such a high security case. "Why did the security seem slack at the given point of time? Why were media persons allowed to interact with the men in police custody?" the plea said.
Why did the police remain almost complacent all through the process, he asked.
The plea also said that it was “also quite obvious that there can be a great possibility of the entire murder scheme being a state-sponsored exercise, where the high and mighty might be involved, for all kinds of nefarious purposes”.
This is the second such plea moved in the Supreme Court recently. On April 16, a day after the Ahmad brothers’ killing. Vishal Tiwari, an advocate had moved a plea in the apex court seeking an inquiry into the 183 encounters that have taken place in Uttar Pradesh since 2017.
"Such actions by police are a severe threat to democracy and rule of law and lead to a police state," the plea reads.
The police have conducted – according to the state government’s figures till April 13, 2023 – 10, 900 ‘encounters’, killing a total of 183 people and leaving 5,046 injured. At least 15 policemen have also died in the ongoing killing spree in the state.
"Issue guidelines/directions to safeguard the rule of law by constituting an Independent Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of former Supreme Court justice to inquire into the 183 encounters which had occurred since 2017 as stated by Uttar Pradesh Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) and also to inquire into the police custody murder of Atiq and Ashraf," the plea seen by NewsClick said.
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