Skip to main content

Killing of Atiq raises questions regarding lapses in cops' professional competence

By Prof Sudhanshu Tripathi* 

What next or who next? The ongoing narrative in popular media over the slain Atiq Ahmed began with CM Yogi’s oft-cited speech in the state assembly that “iss mafia ko mitti mein mila denge.” And consequent encounters of four shooters by the UP police involved in the cold blooded murder of Umesh Pal -- the only witness alive in Raju Pal’s broad daylight murder by Atiq and his henchmen -- in February 2023. Further, few more encounters by the UP police since then have boldly underlined the oft-cited zero-tolerance policy of the Yogi government.
For many political leaders in opposition, it meant that the CM hatched a conspiracy to execute the murder of Atiq and his accomplices in police custody exactly in the same way Atiq conspired to kill the police-protected Umesh Pal brutally in broad daylight. To many it is a long drawn conclusion and reflects their political vendetta against the BJP led government in UP.
It is argued that, had it really been so, the three shooters after killing Atiq and Ashraf would not have been spared by the police team, escorting both the slain brothers, to recite Jai Shree Ram. Being alive, they (the shooters) will now disclose the motives and secrets behind this gruesome murder, wherein local political leaders, land mafias, business magnets including administrative and police higher ups may be found to be involved - according to media - because being beneficiary of the ill-gotten gains accrued by Atiq.
Further if the state government had considered such long prevailing and deep-rooted criminal syndicates as personal attack over its authority, it would have got eliminated many jailed mafia dons in the state since assuming power, particularly that of eastern UP, who had violently targeted Yogi as an MP, almost a decade ago. And that had broken Yogi in the Parliament urging the Speaker for his personal security.
Be that as it may, while killing of Atiq and his brother Ashraf under police custody is indeed a major failure on the part of state police, it obviously raises many questions regarding serious lapses in their professional competence and ability to ward off such unusual incidents. It again raises questions as to why the police team escorting both Atiq and Ashraf could not open fire over the shooters to protect them despite being armed with powerful weapons.
And that shows their utter neglect and lethargy to provide foolproof security to high-profile dons like Atiq, or there may possibly be their complicity in letting go easily the well-planned murder of the both brothers by the three shooters, either due to personal enmity or at the behest of any bigger conspiracy. This gives some political leaders in opposition the opportunity to castigate the Yogi government and to polarize Muslim votes in their favour, having an eye at Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
At the same time, it is argued that these leaders have deliberately ignored the reign of terror or so-called Taliban terror that Atiq and his sons including his criminal gang had unleashed in and around his area of Chakia at Dhumanganj in Prayagraj for the past four decades. And that they allegedly killed hundreds of innocents, raped their women, forcibly captured their ancestral lands and houses and hard-earned properties at throw away prices.
Often some politicians recite the provisions of the Indian Constitution pertaining to Rule of Law, Right to Life and Judicial verdict etc. for these criminals and history sheeters. In fact, many instances of such high profile mafia dons in the past had led to utter failure of the aforesaid Constitutional writs and judicial verdicts to safeguard the interests of ordinary citizens. Why? Because a particular loophole in Indian Penal Code, often abused by criminals, is that a criminal is indeed Mr. Clean until proved guilty in a court of law. But that demands unwavering evidence to substantiate one’s crime for his conviction.
Who will come forward to the court as a witness against such high profile dons to invite unpredictable calamity upon oneself which has already been seen in innumerable cases in the past throughout the country? The killed Umesh Pal, at the behest of jailed Atiq, was also a witness in the case of Raju Pal’s cold-blooded murder by Atiq and his henchmen. Hence almost nobody can put his life at risk against such mafias and dons except silently suffering the trauma and agony fallen upon them due to savage crimes by the hard core criminals?
Now several, so far unknown, such cases of the victims have already come up in the public with the passage of day wherein Atiq gang had wrecked-havoc upon them (the aggrieved) during his four decades long criminal history in which more than 100 cases were registered against him in various police stations. And for that he always boasted off, having no remorse or the like. Is it not a failure of the Constitution or the so mandated Rule of Law or Judicial supremacy? Who is responsible? How can the government come at the rescue of these hapless victims?
Many speak about Human Rights or Right to Life or failure of the government, especially for sake of hardcore criminals like Atiq and Ashraf etc.. But those who were brutally tortured and maimed or met to their gory end by dons like Atiq hadn’t have such Human Rights or Right to Life or Rule of Law to enjoy a peaceful and dignified life. Why not then mourn their trauma or offer them help?
Another very pertinent aspect in this connection relates to criminalization of politics and politicization of criminals besides large-scale organized crimes with possible involvement of terror, as reported by media about slain Atiq’s possible connections to Pakistan’s secret agency ISI for bringing into the banned lethal weapons for spreading terror in the country, altogether has shattered the very root of Indian polity much earlier.
As the head of the government has to arouse confidence among law abiding and peace loving citizens that the might of the state can’t be challenged by anyone like Atiq or any such other, and the government is there to protect their life and property in all circumstances come what may be. But what if mafia don like Atiq shatter the very might of the state by their blood-curdling gruesome crimes, unparalleled and unimaginable, then what remains the option before the government of the day which has to maintain law and order and popular faith in the political system.
Of course police encounter is no option at all but sometimes it evidently has no substitute when the government machinery fails and police, administrative officers, judges and even other higher ups become helpless before uncrowned dons like Atiq who establish his own state parallel to the legitimate political system in the country. In fact, as already witnessed, these dons mostly get eliminated by rival gangs or intra-group dissensions over succession issue or in police operations to nab them that mostly results into their unfortunate encounters.
Thus what is immediately needed is to revamp the archaic Criminal Procedure Code and Indian Penal Code to facilitate unfailing conviction and consequent punishment of criminals in accordance with the procedure established by law. And the protection of witnesses be also ensured at any cost lest they turn their back in case of a high-profile criminal waiting for his prosecution by the court. It is therefore the evidence-based convictions in case of proven and notorious hard core criminals, mafias and dons may possibly be suitably modified to ensure their cent-per-cent and unfailing prosecution and ultimately punishment.
Further speedy justice be inevitably provided in all cases because huge pendency of cases have already resulted into repeated cycle of violence and crimes thereby gravely endangering the social fabric and harmony apart from many other adverse situations. Again to stop criminalization of politics or vice-versa, higher educational qualification and orientation towards service unto humanity be ensured for prospective representatives during their post-election training with sustaining foundation course and only after evaluating their successful performance, they be allowed to assume their responsibility as public representative.
That obviously requires long-awaited major amendments into the Representation of People’s Act. Also the political parties having proven record of distributing tickets to shady characters and criminals, where convicted or not, or promoting caste-based social divisions and violence like Halla Bol or arousing religious hooliganism and fanaticism like Jai Shree Ram or Islam in danger etc. - for collecting popular votes be convincingly debarred from electoral fray forever with no right to appeal in any court of law. Indeed unusual challenges and circumstances or chronic evils in society and polity demand equally draconian laws or battery of laws to restore peace and order in a society.
Evidently India now immediately needs all the above-mentioned provisions as well as laws to safeguard the political society to collapse into utter chaos that may finally lead into civil war as that is going on in few African countries or in some of the West Asian states as well. Indeed India still needs to arrive at the desired level of socio-political and cultural advancement besides fast expanding economy with equity or social justice. This is possible as nothing is beyond human endeavour.
Professor, Political Science in MDPG College, Pratapgarh (UP)



Crucial to revisit roots, embrace core Hindu principles: love, compassion, harmony

A note on religious leaders'  Satya Dharam Samvad in Haridwar: *** In a groundbreaking gathering, more than 25 religious leaders including Swamis, Acharyas, Pujaris, Gurus, and Sadhvis from all over India convened to discuss the tenets of Hinduism on September 16th, 2023, in Haridwar, to discuss and discern the current trajectory of Hinduism. This brand new initiative, the Satya Dharam Samvad, was inspired to organize its first assembly in response to the December 2021 Dharma Sansad, where hate speech and calls for violence against the Muslim community contravened the essential principles of Hinduism. Religion is being used to incite riots among Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, etc. In the face of such hatred, Swami Raghavendra felt that something meaningful should be done in the present climate. 

Commodification of road accident deaths: The hidden health hazard of motonormativity

By Chandra Vikash*  Jahnavi Kandula, an Indian student from Andhra Pradesh, studying in America was killed in a road accident by a police motor car in January 2023. Now, 8 months after the accident, a bodycam video of Daniel Orderer, who is the vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, has gone viral on social media. He was laughing at her death and saying that “she was 26 years old, anyway… she had limited value… just give her $11,000 (ie Rs 9.13 lakh)”.

Telengana peasant uprising 1946-51: Path breaking period in Communist movement

By Harsh Thakor  Telengana armed struggle from 1946-51 was path breaking period in the Indian Communist Movement, enabling it to reject the Russian insurrectionist path and emulate the Chinese model. The intensity of the movement escalated people’s democratic power to a scale unparalleled in Indian history. It literally dawned a new era. Revolutionary zeal climbed heights rarely traversed in semi-colonies. The death defying spirit which the comrades displayed in giving a blow to the Nizam ruler of Hyderabad and the Razakar landlords will be written forever in the red letters of history. Tragically it was crushed by the Congress party led by Nehru, who mercilessly ordered the army to swoop on the rebellion, with the Communist Party of India adopting a compromising position. It was ample proof of how Nehru and the Congress party collaborated with the feudal landlord class.

Inside Indian energy-mining giant Vedanta's campaign to weaken environmental rules

By Akshay Deshmane  It was 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic was ripping through India, crippling the country’s health system and bringing the economy to a standstill. But for Anil Agarwal, chairman of the energy and mining giant Vedanta Resources Ltd, the crisis presented an opportunity.

Job opportunity in unexplored territory... to bulldoze hurdles on way to Akhand Aryavart

By Abdul Puncharwala*  Baba and Mama the Jai-Veeru Jodi of Shuddh desi politics bring an excellent opportunity of employment to all the bright matriculate drop-outs busy with their Insta and YouTube reels. Keep your phones aside for a moment and read this advert carefully. It is going to change your life forever.

Abrogation of Art 370: Increasing alienation, relentless repression, simmering conflict

One year after the abrogation by the Central Government of Art. 370 in Kashmir, what is the situation in the Valley. Have the promises of peace, normalcy and development been realised? What is the current status in the Valley? Here is a detailed note by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties , “Jammu & Kashmir: One Year after Abrogation of Art. 370: Increasing Alienation, Relentless Repression, Simmering Conflict”:

Regretful: Kapil Dev retired not leaving Indian cricket with integrity he upheld

By Harsh Thakor  Kapil Dev scaled heights as an entertainer and a player upholding the spirit of the game almost unparalleled in his era. In his time he was cricket’s ultimate mascot of sportsmanship On his day Kapil could dazzle in all departments to turn the tempo of game in the manner of a Tsunami breaking in. He radiated r energy, at a level rarely scaled in his era on a cricket field. Few ever blended aggression with artistry so comprehenisively. Although fast medium, he could be as daunting with the ball as the very best, with his crafty outswinger, offcutter, slower ball and ball that kicked from a good length. Inspite of bowling on docile tracks on the subcontinent, Kapil had 434 scalps, with virtually no assistance. I can never forget how he obtained pace and movement on flat pancakes, trapping the great Vivian Richards in Front or getting Geoff Boycott or Zaheer Abbas caught behind. No paceman carried the workload of his team’s bowling attack on his shoulders in his eras muc

Informal efforts to help children of remote Bundelkhand village unable to go to school

By Bharat Dogra  Rajaram Ka Purva is a remote rural hamlet in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh inhabited by the poorest of the poor. Almost none of the children in this hamlet are able to go to school. The reasons relate to poverty, distance of the nearest school as well as the unsafe path to school.

Understanding universe, time, space: A crucial, unresolved question before humanity

By Prof Sudhanshu Tripathi*  A crucial question before humanity, still unresolved, is to comprehend the true nature and expanse of Time and Space in Universe. If both are indeed limitless, there is no question then to go beyond them. Because both Time and Space are indeed the two key determinants in this mundane world which define the very expanse of the life period of all living organisms and non-living entities and their relative spatial area producing mental and extra-mental consciousness. 

2024 elections in India: An agenda for justice, peace, democracy and environment

By Bharat Dogra  As debates leading up to 2024 union elections in India preceded by some important state assembly become intense, it is not enough to talk about election alignments among various political parties and their seat adjustments; the questions relating to the most important priorities and a future agenda based on justice, equality, peace, environment protection and democracy must get the most importance.