In encounter, UP Police shoot dead accused in witness Umesh Pal's murder

Umesh Pal and his police security guard Sandeep Nishad were shot dead on Friday outside his home in Dhoomanganj area of Prayagraj.
Late Umesh Pal,  prime witness in the 2005 murder case of then BSP MLA Raju Pal .
Late Umesh Pal, prime witness in the 2005 murder case of then BSP MLA Raju Pal .

LUCKNOW: In the first major action against the culprits of Prayagraj shoot out case, the Uttar Pradesh Police, on Monday, shot dead the driver of the assailants of Umesh Pal who was killed in broad daylight in front of his house on Friday.

Umesh Pal was the prime witness in the then BSP MLA Raju Pal murder case of 2005. Umesh is survived by wife Jaya and four children. The police had lodged an FIR against jailed former MP Atiq Ahmad, his wife Shaista Parveen, their two sons, his younger brother Khalid Azim alias Ashraf and a dozen others, based on a complaint by Jaya.

The deceased driver, identified as Arbaaz, 25, was killed in an encounter with the district police near Nehru Park in Dhumanganj locality of the Sangam City. As per the sources, the Prayagraj police had already recovered the vehicle used in executing Umesh Pal’s killing. On Monday afternoon at around 2 pm, one of the 10 teams set up to crack the killing, got an information about the location of Arbaz around Nehru Park. The police cordoned off the area and as he reached Nehru Park, the police intercepted him. 

The police sources claimed that Arbaaz started firing on the Special Operation Group (SOG) team and in retaliation, the cops also fired. Consequently, Arbaaz sustained bullet injury. Even Dhumanganj police station in-charge also received a gunshot in his hand allegedly fired by Arbaaz. The police party rushed the injured criminal to SRN Medical College where he succumbed to during the treatment. The police also recovered a motorcycle from the spot which was just 2 km from the house of deceased Umesh Pal.

The police sources claimed the Arbaaz had also resorted to firing during the Friday shootout following Umesh Pal till inside his house. Arbaaz is believed to be associated with gangster-turned -politician Atiq Ahmad for long. His father Aafaq Khan was Atiq’s driver.

The police sources claimed that Arbaaz was accompanied by two of his accomplices who succeeded in fleeing into the adjoining jungles. Efforts were on to trace them.

Confirming the police action, ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said that the accused was shot during the encounter that took place near Nehru Park in Dhumanganj, Prayagraj earlier on Monday. “On the day of the incident, he was driving the car that was used for murder and he also fired upon the deceased Umesh Pal,” said the ADG.

He added that Arbaaz died during treatment in the hospital. UP administration and police had initiated a campaign against all such miscreants, gangsters and mafia along with those who were protecting such people.

Meanwhile, reacting to the killing of culprit Arbaaz, Umesh Pal’s mother Shanti Devi expressed faith in Yogi government saying she was confident that the CM would fulfil his promise. “The action of the Yogi government has started and I am looking forward to action against other assailants as well,” said Shanti Devi while interacting with media persons.

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The New Indian Express