On Sunday (16 April), a plea was filed in the Supreme Court requesting an independent expert committee led by a retired apex court judge to investigate the deaths of gangster-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf, who were shot dead under police escort.
Advocate Vishal Tiwari filed the plea that additionally sought an inquiry into the 183 police 'encounters' that have occurred in Uttar Pradesh (UP) since 2017, as stated by UP Special Director General of Police (Law and Order).
Ahmed and Ashraf, who were handcuffed and under police escort for a medical checkup in Prayagraj, were fatally shot by three men disguised as journalists among the several reporters present there.
Asad, Ahmed's son, was killed in a police encounter on 13 April in Jhansi. His last rites were held hours before the shooting that killed Ahmed and Ashraf.
The UP police reported killing 183 alleged criminals, including Asad and his accomplice, in encounters since the Yogi Adityanath government took leadership of the state.
The plea requested independent experts to investigate the killing of Ahmed and Ashraf.
The plea argued against the police being a means of delivering final justice or punishment in a democratic society, stating that such power is only given to the judiciary.
Further, a letter petition has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe under the direct monitoring of the apex court or the High Court.
The plea was submitted by retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Amitabh Thakur.
According to Thakur, everything that seems to be related to Ahmed's murder seems "extremely sketchy, fishy, suspicious."
The petitioner informed the top court that time is crucial in the case as the three accused might face a threat to life in judicial custody and the truth may remain hidden.
The writ petition was filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
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