Will not challenge verdict now: Umesh Pal’s widow


Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh), March 29 (IANS) Slain Umesh Pal’s widow, Jaya Pal, has said that she hoped for capital punishment for mafia don Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf but added that she will not challenge the court order in higher court.

Jaya Pal said, “We seek justice from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who is like our father. We have been fighting against Atiq and his gang and it is time to end ‘terrorism’ once and for all. I will carry forward the fight that my husband was fighting because I want justice and not terror. I want his terror to end.”

Pal’s mother Shanti Pal said, “My son always fought like a lion and Atiq and his brother should be given the death penalty for killing Umesh and two police gunners. We cannot fight against Atiq and his family members alone. We request Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to give justice to us.”

Atiq Ahmad, meanwhile, said before being taken back to Ahmedabad, that his lawyers would appeal against the verdict.

“I have respect for the judiciary, but ‘sazaa galat hui hai (the punishment has been wrongly dealt)’. I intend to appeal the verdict in the high court,” he said.

Atiq Ahmad and two others were given a life sentence by the MP/MLA court in Prayagraj on Tuesday. The three accused — Atiq, Saulat Hanif, a lawyer, and Dinesh Pasi — have been convicted under Section 364A, which provides punishment for kidnapping a person and putting the person concerned in danger of being murdered, and other sections of Indian Penal Code. The maximum punishment under this section is death sentence.

This is the first conviction of Atiq, who is facing 101 criminal cases, 52 of them under trial.

The special MP/MLA court acquitted Atiq’s brother Ashraf and six other accused, saying the prosecution ‘failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt’ their alleged complicity in the conspiracy to kidnap, torture and threaten Umesh into retracting his statement about being a witness in the MLA murder case.

Umesh Pal’s widow Jaya Pal said, “Atiq and Ashraf always work in tandem and I see no reason behind Ashraf’s acquittal. If these two are around, they can do anything from inside the jail. My husband’s murder in February is proof of this.”

Umesh Pal, a zila panchayat member in 2005, was a witness in BSP MLA Raju Pal murder case in which Atiq and his brother were the main accused.

Raju Pal was killed on January 25, 2005. Umesh Pal later alleged he was kidnapped at gunpoint on February 28, 2006 as he refused to buckle under pressure from Atiq and his gang.

He lodged an FIR on July 5, 2007, against Atiq, his brother and nine others. The accused were booked under Sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 120B (conspiracy) and other sections of IPC.

The trial of the Umesh abduction case was concluded on March 21 and the court fixed March 28 for delivery of the verdict.

On March 24, the judge directed the authorities to ensure the physical presence of all the accused at the time of the delivery of the verdict. Atiq was shifted from Sabarmati Jail and Ashraf from Bareilly Jail to Naini Central Jail.

On Tuesday, a large number of lawyers, who assembled at the court, started shouting slogans when Atiq and other accused were being produced, seeking death penalty for them.

Umesh was killed in a daring daylight attack in Prayagraj’s Dhoomanganj on February 24, 2023.

According to district government counsel (DGC), Gulab Chandra Agrahri, who appeared on the prosecution side, Atiq and Ashraf are accused in all the three cases — Umesh Pal abduction, his murder and Raju Pal murder.

Atiq was a five-time MLA from Allahabad West, winning the seat consecutively between 1989 and 2002. He also won the Phulpur Lok Sabha seat on the SP ticket in 2004.

Ashraf won the Allahabad West Assembly seat in bypoll in 2005.


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