Atiq Ahmed and Ashraf Ahmed’s sister, Aisha Noori, had knocked the doors of the Supreme Court seeking a direction for a probe into the state-sponsored killing’ of her two brothers, who were allegedly gunned down by assailants, while in Uttar Pradesh police’s custody.
Sources in the Supreme Court Registry said that the matter would be heard by the Top Court very soon. “The plea shall be heard by the Top Very soon, keeping in view the sensitivity and importance of the questions raised by the Petitioner,” the senior SC registry official said on Monday.
Atiq and Ashraf Ahmed, who was under Uttar Pradesh police escort, was talking to reporters on April 15, when a gun was pulled close to their head in Prayagraj and subsequently killing the duo instantly.
This incident happened in full view of media persons and was captured live and subsequently aired on news channels, leading to much public debate. The brothers were killed just two days after Atiq’s son Asad was killed in an encounter.
Dozens of cases, including kidnapping, murder and extortion, were registered against Atiq Ahmed over the past two decades. A local court sentenced him and two others to life in jail in March this year in a kidnapping case.
Noori, in her petition filed before the Apex Court, has sought an independent probe into the ‘custodial and extra-judicial killings’ of her brothers, as well as other members of the family all of which occurred just a few days apart from each other.
She said that this was done by the ‘high-level state agents’ who have allegedly orchestrated a campaign to “kill, arraign, arrest, and harass” members of her family as a part of a ‘vendetta’.
“The respondents (UP, Central govt) are responsible for the deaths. The respondents-police authorities are enjoying the full support of the Uttar Pradesh Government which appears to have granted them complete impunity to kill, arraign, arrest, and harass members of the petitioner’s family as part of a vendetta,” the plea of Noori said.
“The deaths of the petitioner’s (Noori’s) family members and other persons are connected parts of a vicious, arbitrary, and unlawful campaign by the Government of Uttar Pradesh. In the absence of such a comprehensive and independent inquiry, the rights of the petitioner and her family members under Article 21 of the Constitution would stand violated,” it said.
Noori in her petition filed before the Supreme Court, said that it cast a positive procedural obligation on State authorities to effectively investigate to into the deaths.
Another similar petition – filed in the public interest by Advocate Vishal Tiwari – is also pending before the apex court seeking an independent inquiry into the killings of the Ahmad brothers, which was caught on live television, and 183 other encounter killings in the State of UP since 2017.
In this petition, the Supreme Court has sought a ‘comprehensive affidavit’ from the Uttar Pradesh government on the steps taken to enquire into the killings,
Gangster-turned- politician Atiq Ahmad who moved the Supreme Court raising the apprehension that he would be killed by the Uttar Pradesh police in a fake encounter, if shifted from a jail in Gujarat’s Sabarmati to one in Prayagraj.
In March, a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi of the top court declined relief to him.
The former Lok Sabha member of Parliament (MP) from the Samjwadi Party was the prime accused in the sensational murder of Umesh Pal, a key witness to a Bahujan Samaj Party legislator’s murder in 2005.