Jailed former Samajwadi Party MP and gangster Atiq Ahmed on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court for protection, claiming that he and his family have been falsely "roped in" as accused in the Umesh Pal murder case in Prayagraj and he may be killed in a fake encounter by the Uttar Pradesh police.
In his plea, Ahmed, who is presently lodged at the central jail Ahmedabad in Gujarat, has referred to the statement made by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the floor of the assembly to "completely ruin and destroy" him and claimed there is a "genuine and perceptible threat" to his and his family members' lives.
He said the Uttar Pradesh police in all likelihood will seek his transit remand and also police remand to take him from Ahmedabad to Prayagraj and he "genuinely apprehends that he may be eliminated during this transit period".
In his plea filed in the apex court, 61-year-old Ahmed has sought directions to the Centre, state of Uttar Pradesh and others to protect his life against the "open, direct and immediate threat" to his life from high state functionaries of Uttar Pradesh.
"After the murder of Umesh Pal, Opposition put fuel in the fire in the House which provoked the CM to say... mafia ko mitti me mila doonga because petitioner was the main subject in argument in House," the plea said.
"Petitioner (Ahmed) genuinely apprehends and believes that the petitioner may be killed in a fake encounter on one pretext or the other by the UP police particularly in view of the statement made by the chief minister of state of UP on the floor of the house," the plea alleged.
Umesh Pal, who was the prime witness in then BSP MLA Raju Pal's murder in 2005, and his police security guard Sandeep Nishad were shot dead on Friday last outside his home in Dhoomanganj area of Prayagraj.
Umesh Pal was a key witness in the 2005 MLA murder case in Prayagraj in which Ahmed and others are prime accused.
Arbaaz, an accused in the Umesh Pal murder case, was killed in an encounter with the police on Monday.
Dhoomanganj police station SHO Rajesh Maurya was also injured in the encounter.
The petition was filed on a day the Prayagraj Development Authority demolished the house of a close aide of Ahmed.
Prayagraj Development Authority secretary Ajit Singh said the house belonging to Zafar Ahmed has been bulldozed. He said Atiq Ahmed's wife Shaista Parveen used to stay in the same house earlier.
"The said house was constructed without getting its map (naksha) passed from the authority and a notice regarding the same was issued in the past. Most of the house was destroyed by the afternoon," the officer said.
Meanwhile, in his plea, Ahmed sought a direction to the Centre to ensure his safety and security and that no physical or bodily injury or any other harm is caused to him and his family members.
He has sought directions restraining the state of Uttar Pradesh and others from taking him from Ahmedabad to Prayagraj or any part of Uttar Pradesh.
He has requested that his interrogation, if any, be carried out at the Central Jail Ahmedabad or at any other suitable place in Ahmedabad itself under the protection of Gujarat Police as well as central or paramilitary forces.
He has sought the top court's direction for his transit from Ahmedabad to Uttar Pradesh under the protection of any central police or paramilitary force if at all the transit is necessary.
He has sought a direction allowing his advocate to remain present during his interrogation and also to quash the warrants against him, if issued by any court, for taking him to Prayagraj from central jail Ahmedabad.
The plea claimed that the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, without any investigation and merely on the basis of suspicion, had made a statement on the floor of the state Assembly that Ahmed will be "destroyed and eliminated completely".
"In such circumstances, the petitioner is constrained to file the present writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India before this court for the protection of his life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India," it said.
The plea claimed the petitioner and his family members have no connection in the Umesh Pal murder case and it seems that a conspiracy has been hatched to completely wipe out him and his entire family politically as well physically by falsely roping them in this case.
It alleged that two minor sons of Ahmed have already been taken into "illegal custody" by the police since February 24 and they are kept at an undisclosed location.
"It is even unknown to the petitioner whether they are dead or alive. The other two sons of the petitioner are also in jail in other false cases," it said, adding that the petitioner fears for the safety of his family members and has apprehensions that they may be killed in a fake encounter.
The plea alleged that the petitioner and his family members have been falsely implicated and named in the FIR due to political and various other reasons and the main reason seems to be that his wife has joined the BSP and the party has declared her as a candidate for the post of Mayor in the forthcoming election.
"It was very well known to the rivals of the petitioner that if anything were to happen to Umesh Pal, then the petitioner would certainly be the prime suspect in view of the pending case against him by Umesh Pal and he will be made an accused. The same has been done," the plea claimed.