Uttar Pradesh Government’s Defense: No Police Fault in Atiq Ahmed’s Killing

The Uttar Pradesh government is standing firm in its defense of the state’s police force amidst the controversy surrounding the killing of Atiq Ahmed, a former gangster turned politician. Ahmed, along with his brother, was fatally shot by unidentified attackers outside a hospital in April. What makes this case particularly alarming is that the incident occurred while Ahmed was in police custody. The state government’s response to this issue was recently filed in the Supreme Court, which is currently considering two petitions related to Ahmed’s killing outside a Prayagraj hospital.

In an affidavit submitted on September 29, the Uttar Pradesh government asserted that it has conducted comprehensive investigations not only into Ahmed’s killing but also into seven other alleged fake encounter cases. These include the deaths of Ahmed’s son (who was killed in an encounter just two days before Ahmed’s murder), Ahmed’s brother, and the case of gangster Vikas Dubey, who was killed in July 2020. The government emphasized that in each of these cases, exhaustive investigations were carried out, and in instances where investigations have been completed, no wrongdoing was found on the part of the police.

The government’s response also took a strong stance against the petitioner’s allegations, characterizing them as an abuse of the court’s process. It argued that the petitioner was essentially attempting to rehash issues that had already been settled.

Regarding Atiq Ahmed’s specific case, the government informed the court that the criminal trial is currently underway, with preliminary hearings focused on framing the charges. The next hearing is scheduled for October 3, and the government is committed to ensuring a fair trial.

Furthermore, a five-member commission, chaired by retired Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhonsle, has been diligently investigating the killing of Atiq Ahmed. This commission has held 23 sittings and has sought input and suggestions from various stakeholders, including the public, media, government, and organizations, with the aim of preventing similar incidents in the future.

Addressing the broader issue of encounter incidents, the government stated that since 2017, detailed information about criminals killed in encounters and the outcomes of investigations or inquiries has been regularly collected and reviewed at the police headquarters level on a monthly basis.

Atiq Ahmed, a former Member of Parliament (MP), had served in this role from 2004 to 2009. Before his tenure as an MP, he had been a Member of the Legislative Assembly for a period of 15 years. Notably, he was in police custody when he was fatally shot, raising concerns and questions about potential security lapses.

In essence, the Uttar Pradesh government is firmly defending the actions of its police force in response to allegations of misconduct in several encounter cases, including the killing of Atiq Ahmed. As investigations and legal proceedings continue, the government remains committed to upholding the rule of law and ensuring a fair trial for all parties involved in these cases.