Dreaded gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed’s son Asad, who was wanted in the Umesh Pal murder case, was killed by Uttar Pradesh Police in an encounter in Jhansi, on Thursday. Ghulam, a co-accused in the case, was also gunned down during the encounter. Both the accused were carrying a reward of ₹5 lahks each.
The incident took place when Ghulam opened fire at a team of the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (UPSTF) in the afternoon and the two were killed in retaliatory action.
Reports say Asad had fled to Lucknow after Killing Umesh Pal. Subsequently, Asad moved to Kanpur and then to Meerut before arriving in Delhi. Thereafter, he went to Madhya Pradesh. Asad reached Jhansi, and as he was on his way to the state border, the police stopped him. According to some sources, the police obtained a tip-off from a member of Atiq Ahmed’s gang who told them about Asad’s whereabouts.
The police have said that a team of 12 led by two DSP rank officers – DySP Navendu and DySp Vimal – carried out the operation. Reportedly, a total of 42 rounds were fired during the encounter at Jhansi’s Babina road.
Notably, the encounter occurred at the time when Atiq Ahmed was produced in the court in the same murder case and sent to judicial custody for 14 days.
Who was Umesh Pal?
Umesh Pal was a lawyer by profession. He was a witness in the 2005 murder of Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Raju Pal. He was gunned down in February in a daylight attack outside his home in Prayagraj. Along with Pal, his security personnel was also killed.
These killings have posed questions about the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh. The Opposition parties to have condemned the situation in the state.
The murder of Umesh Pal also brought Atiq Ahmed, the dreaded gangster with more than 100 cases against him, back into the public eye. He was convicted in February in an abduction case and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was a former Samajwadi Party Member of Parliament. This case included Umesh Pal, who was abducted in 2006, some 17 years before he was killed.
The encounter of Asad and his accomplices comes against the backdrop of the gangster’s repeated allegations that the Uttar Police is planning to shoot him down. Interestingly, the gangster had told media persons on Wednesday that he is safe because of them.
Meanwhile, Umesh Pal’s mother, Shanti Devi, lauded Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh state government and said they have “served justice”. Shanti Devi said she has full faith in the state government and has appealed that they will get justice in the future too. Jaya Devi, Umesh Pal’s widow, also thanked the Chief Minister.
Atiq Ahmed was moved to Gujarat prison on the directions of the Supreme Court after he was accused of abducting a real estate businessman while in jail. He has been in the Sabarmati Central Jail since July 2019.