The National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday directed the Uttar Pradesh Police to submit a report in four weeks into the killings of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf in Prayagraj.

The Ahmed brothers were shot dead on April 15 from close range by three men posing as journalists while police personnel were taking them for a medical check-up.

At the time, the brothers were in police custody in connection with the murder of lawyer Umesh Pal, a witness in the killing of Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Raju Pal in 2005. Umesh Pal was shot dead in Prayagraj on February 24. Days later, the Uttar Pradesh Police booked Ahmed, his wife Sahista Parveen, two of their sons, Ashraf, among others, for Pal’s murder.

“Encounters”, or extrajudicial executions, have risen since the Bhartiya Janata Party government came to power in Uttar Pradesh in 2017.

In connection with the Umesh Pal murder case, the police gunned down Ahmed’s teenage son Asad and an aide in Jhansi on April 13. Two more accused in the case were also shot dead in “encounters” by the police on February 27 and March 6.

In Tuesday’s notice, the National Human Rights Commission said that it has sought a copy of the complaint and the First Information Report registered against the deceased, a copy of the arrest memo and inspection memo, a copy of the medical-legal certificate of the deceased, the posmortem report and the magisterial enquiry report among others things.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath claimed that no mafia can spread terror in the state, reported PTI.

Without taking Ahmed’s name, Adityanath said that those who were “trouble for UP earlier, today are in trouble themselves”.

“More than 700 riots took place in UP between 2012 and 2017 [during the Samajwadi Party’s tenure],” the chief minister said. “Over 364 riots took place in UP between 2007 and 2012 [during Bahujan Samaj Party]. However, from 2017 to 2023, not a single riot took place in the state. Curfew was not imposed even once, nor was there any need for it.”

Crude bomb hurled near residence of Atiq’s lawyer

A crude bomb was hurled near the residence of Atiq Ahmad’s lawyer Dayashankar Mishra on Tuesday, PTI reported.

The Uttar Pradesh Police refuted that Mishra was the target and claimed that the incident was due to personal enmity between two youths.

“Rumour is being spread that Dayashankar Mishra was attacked,” Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said in a statement. “This is false information. The spot is being inspected and there is no problem of law and order.”

Mishra, however, claimed that that incident was an attempt “to create fear and terror”, according to PTI.

“It is a big conspiracy,” the lawyer said. “...It is for the police to find out who is behind this.”