Connect with us


Muslim ex-MP’s reside TV homicide in India raises rights considerations | Human Rights Information

New Delhi, India – On April 15, former Indian parliamentarian Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf Ahmed have been shot lifeless by three assailants – a brazen assault caught on reside tv.

The 2 have been being escorted by the police within the northern metropolis of Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh state for a “routine medical checkup” late that night time when a bunch of journalists stopped them.

As quickly because the brothers began speaking to the reporters, the three suspected attackers, allegedly posing as journalists, fired a number of pictures, killing the gangster-politician and his brother on the spot.

The attackers surrendered to the police, chanting “Jai Shri Ram” (Hail Lord Ram), a spiritual slogan that has now change into a conflict cry for Hindu teams of their marketing campaign towards India’s Muslim minority.

Police declare the three attackers – recognized as Mohit alias Sunny Puraney, 23; Lavlesh Tiwari, 22; and Arun Kumar Maurya, 18 – “wished to complete the gang of Atiq and Ashraf and change into well-known”.

Mohit, a school dropout from Hamirpur, reportedly has a dozen legal circumstances towards him and is a declared “routine offender”. The police declare that he was the central determine who deliberate the operation and was earlier jailed in a number of circumstances, together with tried homicide and theft.

The Fb web page of the second attacker, Tiwari, suggests he’s a member of the far-right Hindu organisation Bajrang Dal. Residents of his village mentioned “he had huge ambitions on the earth of crime”. He too faces 4 circumstances with expenses of assault, harassment of ladies and smuggling of illicit liquor.

Maurya, the youngest of the three, was reportedly launched to the world of crime by Mohit after they met in Panipat, a city in Haryana state. An orphan youngster, little is understood or reported about him.

Who was Atiq Ahmed?

Atiq, 60, was a six-term legislator, together with one time period within the nationwide parliament. He efficiently contested 5 state meeting elections from Allahabad (now referred to as Prayagraj) West constituency – thrice as an impartial candidate, as soon as as a Samajwadi Get together chief, and as soon as as a candidate of his personal Apna Dal get together. The sixth time, Atiq contested the 2004 basic elections on a Samajwadi Get together ticket and have become a member of parliament.

He was additionally a gangster with greater than 100 authorized circumstances towards him, together with murders, kidnapping and extortion. He was convicted and jailed in 2019 for kidnapping a lawyer, Umesh Pal, who had testified towards him in a 2005 homicide case of a neighborhood legislator named Raju Pal.

Umesh Pal was murdered in February this 12 months. Police suspected Atiq’s 19-year-old son Asad Ahmed’s position within the homicide. By the way, Asad, alongside along with his aide Ghulam Hussain, was shot lifeless by the Uttar Pradesh police in one other encounter solely two days earlier than Atiq’s homicide.

That, together with Atiq’s killing – which opposition events allege was “scripted” – has reignited human rights considerations over a rising pattern of extrajudicial killings as a method of governance in Uttar Pradesh.

Forensic officials examine the spot where Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf Ahmed were shot dead
Forensic officers study the spot the place Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf Ahmed have been shot lifeless in Prayagraj on April 15 [File: Ritesh Shukla/Reuters]

Since 2017, when hardline Hindu monk Yogi Adityanath of the Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) turned the chief minister, the state has witnessed 10,900 police encounters, by which at the very least 183 individuals died and shut to five,000 others have been injured, based on police knowledge.

Political events against the BJP have accused Adityanath of subverting the rule of legislation and concentrating on minority communities through the use of the police.

The Uttar Pradesh police’s knowledge exhibits such “encounters” disproportionately have an effect on Muslims and different marginalised communities. Between 2017 to 2020, 37 p.c of these killed in such incidents have been Muslims, almost twice the proportion of their inhabitants within the state.

India’s Supreme Court docket on Monday rescheduled to April 28 the listening to of a plea searching for an impartial investigation by a physique headed by a retired high court docket choose into the killings of Atiq and his brother in full view of TV cameras.

He had not complained of any medical points. There was no function for the late-night hospital go to. Docs can be found inside prisons.

by Vijay Mishra, Atiq Ahmed’s lawyer

Chief minister Adityanath has additionally introduced the formation of a three-member judicial fee to inquire into the killings.

The Nationwide Human Rights Fee (NHRC), an impartial physique to guard human rights in India, additionally took cognisance of the incident and demanded a report from the state authorities inside 4 weeks.

‘State equipment will handle you’

Atiq’s dying, like many different extrajudicial killings, just isn’t freed from suspicion of foul play by the state.

His homicide got here solely two weeks after the Supreme Court docket rejected his plea by which he had expressed apprehensions about his security.

Atiq was lodged in a jail in Uttar Pradesh till 2019 when the highest court docket ordered his switch to the western state of Gujarat over allegations that he was orchestrating crimes from contained in the jail.

Since he was to face a verdict in a kidnapping case in a Prayagraj court docket on March 28, a group of Uttar Pradesh police took his custody in Gujarat and drove him to Prayagraj.

Fearing for his security, Atiq submitted a petition earlier than the Supreme Court docket saying he “genuinely apprehends and believes” he “could also be killed in a faux encounter on one pretext or the opposite” by the police.

“The state equipment will handle you,” the highest court docket judges mentioned and dismissed his plea.

The identical day, Atiq’s brother Ashraf advised reporters a senior police officer in Uttar Pradesh had threatened to have him killed inside two weeks. And ultimately, he was killed inside days.

Al Jazeera spoke to certainly one of Atiq’s attorneys, Vijay Mishra, who referred to as his dying a “political homicide”.

“He had not complained of any medical points. There was no function for the late-night hospital go to. Docs can be found inside prisons,” Mishra mentioned.

When requested about native witnesses reportedly claiming the assailants have been seen getting out of a police van moments earlier than the brothers arrived on the website of their homicide, Mishra “agreed” with the claims.

“There have been some individuals who have been dropped at the location of the homicide in a police van earlier than Atiq and his brother. However I can’t say who they have been,” he advised Al Jazeera.

The lawyer additionally raised questions over the safety supplied to Atiq and his brother through the purported hospital go to.

“Solely 5 to 6 safety males have been guarding him. That is uncommon. At any time when he was taken out of jail, be it to the court docket or in any other case, a big contingent of state cops and federal safety officers guarded him,” he mentioned.

Mishra is mulling authorized motion towards the Uttar Pradesh police over the killings.

The human rights fee in Uttar Pradesh is virtually non-existent.

by  Mohammed Shoib, rights activist

‘Encounter’ pointers flouted

The Indian Penal Code – the official legal code within the nation – supplies for the precise of the residents, together with legislation enforcement officers, to non-public defence, extending it to inflicting the dying of an individual supplied sure necessities are fulfilled.

However police have usually used this proper as an excuse to stage an encounter, which, based on legislation, may be of two sorts: to injure and safe the arrest of an accused, or shoot to kill in non-public defence.

If an accused just isn’t efficiently arrested throughout an encounter and dies, critics level out that the police’s story following the incident is often the identical: whereas chasing or transporting the accused, they tried to or are in a position to snatch the police’s weapons, shoot and attempt to run. Or they have already got weapons and open fireplace on the police with an “intent to kill”, leading to a crossfire that kills the accused.

These, critics say, are often “staged encounters” or extrajudicial killings.

Pointers and procedures issued by the Supreme Court docket and the NHRC require that cops use pressure solely when completely needed and that such pressure be proportional to the risk posed by a suspect.

In addition they lay out particular procedural and substantive safeguards that should be adopted by cops throughout such “encounters”, together with that an impartial investigation be performed into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Nevertheless, consultants say the rules have finished little to verify police violations and supply for an efficient redressal system for justice.

“The human rights fee in Uttar Pradesh is virtually non-existent,” Mohammed Shoib, a rights defender and legal lawyer in Uttar Pradesh, advised Al Jazeera.

“The fee is in favour of Adityanath’s authorities. The rules usually are not carried out as most establishments are scared of this authorities. Consequently, extrajudicial killings have elevated manifold. Heinous crimes, nevertheless, haven’t decreased within the state,” he mentioned.

Magistrates have fully surrendered, and that is throughout the nation, to the deeds or misdeeds of the police, which clearly emanate from political instructions.

by Mehmood Pracha, Lawyer

A 2021 report by the federal authorities on crimes in India famous a rise in circumstances of rape, kidnapping, and abduction in Uttar Pradesh. The state additionally tops the checklist in atrocities towards marginalised teams, comparable to Muslims and Dalits, who fall on the backside of India’s advanced caste system.

Although the rules require a magisterial inquiry into an encounter dying, rights activist and former high police officer from Uttar Pradesh, SR Darapuri, advised Al Jazeera such inquiries usually are not useful.

“Magistrates clearly wouldn’t go towards the police as a result of they work with them. That’s the reason most cops go unpunished,” he mentioned.

‘Criminals, mafias energetic and flourishing’

Mehmood Pracha, a legal lawyer in New Delhi, faults the judiciary for the police’s unlawful actions.

“The police just isn’t solely certain by administrative instructions but additionally certain by the supervision of the Justice of the Peace. Magistrates have fully surrendered, and that is throughout the nation, to the deeds or misdeeds of the police, which clearly emanate from political instructions, authorized or unlawful irrespective,” he advised Al Jazeera.

Consultants additionally say the justice redressal framework {that a} sufferer or their household has recourse to is weak.

“Since a lot of the victims of encounters are from marginalised sections, going to a state excessive court docket is pricey for them. Even when one manages to, they don’t seem to be heard correctly. As an alternative, they endure additional harassment by police officers who pressurise or threaten them with dire penalties or false circumstances,” Darapuri mentioned.

The info by the NHRC, the place no price is required for submitting circumstances, exhibits that Uttar Pradesh accounted for the very best variety of circumstances closed by the rights physique “with out cause”.

Many others consider the basis reason for such points in Uttar Pradesh lies with its political management.

“How do you assume the police will act if the state’s chief is a goon himself? What’s going to they do if the chief says ‘shoot them’ now and again,” rights defender Shoib mentioned, referring to Adityanath’s many public statements the place he threatened to kill criminals to eradicate crime.

Darapuri, reflecting on his expertise as an Uttar Pradesh police officer, mentioned the extrajudicial killings don’t lower crime, a declare usually made by Adityanath whereas defending his “encounter” coverage.

“Criminals and mafias are very a lot energetic and flourishing. The one distinction is that the majority at the moment are siding with Adityanath. Criminals siding with opposition events are those being eradicated and their killings changed into a public sport,” he mentioned.

BJP spokeswoman Anila Singh disagreed with the fees, saying a “faux and false narrative is being created by the opposition events and activists” towards the Uttar Pradesh authorities.

“The police encounters usually are not staged, as if they’re dramas,” she mentioned.

Singh claimed quite a few cops have died or been injured within the encounters.

“Each time there’s an encounter, there’s an inquiry. Therefore, we’re the one individuals who consider within the structure and legislation of the land. However opposition events do selective outrage,” she advised Al Jazeera.

However lawyer Pracha says the BJP, and its ideological mentor, the far-right Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), are attempting to convey a message by such encounter killings.

“The message they wish to give is that our system as established by legislation and the structure is inadequate or incapable of offering safety and justice to the frequent plenty,” he advised Al Jazeera.

“Subsequently, we [referring to BJP leaders] as people are higher than all the system, that we’re so upright and sincere that these checks and balances and all the system formulated by a democratic course of ranging from the formulation of the structure are ineffective.”

Supply hyperlink

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *