By Adarsh T R: “Iss House mein keh raha hoon. Iss mafia ko mitti me mila denge.”
These were the words of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the Assembly on February 25, a day after Umesh Pal, a lawyer and a key witness in a murder case, was shot dead in broad daylight outside his Prayagraj home.
Umesh Pal was the key witness in the 2005 murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal.
YOGI’S VOW AGAINST MAFIA
As the House assembled that day for a discussion on the Governor’s address, the Opposition Samajwadi Party raised the killing of Umesh Pal to question the law and order situation in the state.
In response, Yogi Adityanath said the results of actions taken by the government under its zero-tolerance policy for crime will be before everyone “very soon”.
“Iss House mein keh raha hoon. Iss mafia ko mitti me mila dengeâæ Jitney mafia hain unko mitti me milane ka kaam karenge (I am saying this in the House. This mafia will be destroyed, all mafia will be destroyed),” Adityanath said, turning towards Akhilesh Yadav and SP MLAs.
Within 50 days, four of the five people involved in Umesh Pal’s murder have been eliminated, killed in three separate police encounters.
And how things have turned out since CM Yogi’s vow on February 25, was summed up by his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya on Thursday after the Jhansi encounter.
THE THREE POLICE ENCOUNTERS
Dreaded gangster Atiq Ahmed, one of the main accused in both the murder cases, is in jail and his son was one of the two who were gunned down in an encounter on Thursday.
Atiq is in jail after being handed down a life term in the 2007 kidnapping of Umesh Pal.
On February 24 this year, lawyer Umesh Pal was shot dead in Prayagraj. Umesh’s family accused Atiq, his wife Shahista Parveen, brother Ashraf, Atiq’s son Asad and others for killing him, as Umesh Pal was the key witness in the Raju Pal murder case.
The daylight murder was captured on camera. The police identified five men — Vijay Chaudhary alias Usman, Arbaaz (driver of the vehicle used by the assailants), Atiq Ahmed’s son Asad Ahmed, Asad’s aide Ghulam and Guddu Muslim — who were involved in the crime.
All five had been on the run since the day of the murder, but the UP Police was on their tails.
On February 27, two days after Umesh Pal’s murder, Arbaz was killed in an encounter. Then, Vijay Chaudhary was gunned down in Prayagraj on March 6.
Thursday’s encounter in Jhansi was the third in the same series.
READ | Atiq sentenced for life: The story of his stunning rise, 40-year rule and Don-fall
ATIQ ADMITS HE HAS BEEN CRUSHED
On March 5, Atiq Ahmed, who faces more than 100 criminal cases, was taken from the Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad to a prison in Prayagraj, more than 1,000 kms away, by road in connection with the Umesh Pal murder case.
While he was on the way, Ahmed spoke to reporters from inside the police van. He pleaded with the government to spare his family members, who are co-accused in several cases.
“Hum government se kehna chahte hain, bulkul mitti me mil gaye hain ab hamari auraoton aur bachchon ko pareshan na karein. (I want to tell the government that I am totally reduced to dust, but please don’t trouble the women and children of my family now),” Ahmed said.
A day later, Atiq’s son Asad Ahmed and his aide Ghulam were intercepted in Jhansi and gunned down in an encounter with the UP STF.
The fifth accused in the Umesh Pal murder case, Guddu Muslim, continues to be on the run.
The police FIR filed after the Umesh Pal murder names Atiq Ahmed, his wife Shahista Parveen, his son, Asad, his younger brother Ashraf and others.
‘MITTI MEIN MIL GAYE,’ SAYS DEPUTY CM
Atiq Ahmed was sent to judicial custody for 14 days on Thursday by a Prayagraj court. Asad is now dead. Ashraf is also in prison in Bareilly. Shahista Parveen is absconding.
Almost 50 days after Yogi Adityanath’s fiery speech, his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya on Thursday hailed the police for the encounter of Asad and his aide in Jhansi and termed the action a “message to criminals”.
“This is new India’s new Uttar Pradesh,” said Maurya, adding, “The government will hunt out people involved in such crimes even from the netherworld.”
He said the killing of Asad was “news of relief for the people of Prayagraj and UP”.
“Aaj ye mitti mein mil gaye. (They have been crushed to the ground today),” said UP Deputy CM Maurya.