SC seeks updated status report in all 183 encounters by UP Police since 2017

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up Uttar Pradesh Police and asked its Director General or any senior official to file an updated status report as to the status of investigation or trial in all 183 cases where criminals have been gunned down in alleged fake encounters since 2017, the year the Yogi Adityanath led-BJP government came to power in the state.

A bench of Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Aravind Kumar also enquired the state government about the implementation of guidelines laid down by the National Human Rights Commission.

“Not only in these high-profile cases (like Atiq Ahmed, Vikas Dubey, etc.), there are crimes which are happening in jails. It is worrisome as to why it happened in jails. There is a nexus,” the bench observed.

It said that it is not there to conduct the investigation but wants to see a system in place.

“Why is it happening in jail?” it asked state Advocate General, Ajay Kumar Mishra.

It also asked Mishra to enumerate the steps taken by the state government on the recommendations made by Dr. B.S. Chauhan Commission, which was set up to enquire into the Vikas Dubey encounter case by the Supreme Court.

Mishra apprised the top court that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in Atiq-Ashraf Ahmed murder has filed a charge sheet against three assailants.

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At this, the bench remarked: “How did they (assailants) get the information? This is also important.

“Tomorrow, how do you inspire confidence? It is the same police, sometimes they are involved in the jail incident.”

It directed the state government to file a report in the form of an affidavit within six weeks.

The top court was considering the plea filed by Aisha Noori, sister of slain gangsters Atiq and Ashraf Ahmed, who had moved the Supreme Court seeking a comprehensive probe by a commission headed by a retired judge of the top court into “custodial and extra-judicial” killings of her family members, along with PIL filed in the matter by advocate Vishal Tiwari.

The Supreme Court, on April 28, directed the Uttar Pradesh government to bring on record steps taken, including inquiries initiated into the killings of Atiq and his brother Ashraf.

The plea alleged that the respondents-police authorities are enjoying the full support of the UP 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.

Atiq and Ashraf Ahmed were gunned down by the trio outside the Motilal Nehru (Colvin) Divisional Hospital around 10.30 p.m. on April 15 when they were being taken for a court-mandated medical examination while in police custody.   (IANS)

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