'UP govt eyeing polls' : Akhilesh Yadav after Asad, aide shot by police

PTI | | Posted by Sreelakshmi B
Apr 14, 2023 04:55 PM IST

Akhilesh Yadav's comments come a day after gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad's son Asad and an associate were killed by an STF team in Jhansi.

The Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh was carrying out encounters with an eye on polls, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Friday a day after gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad's son Asad and an associate were killed by an STF team in Jhansi there. Ahmad, his son and several others are accused in the Umesh Pal murder case in UP, the fallout of which made Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath swear in the Assembly that he would wipe out the mafia there.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.(HT Photo)
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.(HT Photo)

Speaking to reporters after paying tribute to eminent jurist and social reformer Babasaheb Ambedkar at his birthplace Mhow on his birth anniversary, Yadav said the Constitution, of which the former was the chief architect, was under threat. "Institutions are being finished one after the other and (Bharatiya Janata Party) governments (at the Centre and UP) are working to destroy the Constitution Babasaheb gave us," Yadav said.

Queried about Thursday's encounter, Yadav said, "From the very first day, (the Uttar Pradesh) BJP government is indulging in fake encounters with an eye on polls." However, on being asked about allegations that Atiq Ahmad had connections to Pakistani elements, Yadav just said "what can I say about the connections he has and with whom". He slammed the BJP government in UP for action against a mother-daughter duo in Kanpur, during which their houses were bulldozed and burnt down, leading to both losing their lives. Yadav also alleged a promising student leader was killed in Ballia by those belonging to the "caste of the (UP) chief minister".

"Is it an India where you can kill a weaker person? Is it an India where we won't get our Constitutional rights," the SP chief questioned. He asked why UP has received the maximum number of notices from the National Human Rights Commission (for police action like encounters), adding that the northern state also leads in the number of custodial deaths. Umesh Pal, a key witness in the 2005 murder case of then BSP MLA Raju Pal, and his two police security guards were shot dead outside his home in Prayagraj's Dhoomanganj area on February 24 this year.

Based on a complaint lodged by Umesh Pal's wife Jaya Pal, a case was registered on February 25 against Atiq Ahmad, his brother Ashraf, son Asad, Ghulam and others. As per UP police, Asad and Ghulam were shot dead after they opened fire at a Special Task Force team that had encircled them in Jhansi on Thursday.

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