Another man accused of killing witness Umesh Pal killed in UP Police encounter

Umesh Pal, the key witness in the 2005 former BSP MLA Raju Pal murder case, and his police security guards Sandeep Nishad and Raghvendra Singh were shot on February 24.

Published: 06th March 2023 09:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2023 03:53 PM   |  A+A-

Vijay alias Usman, an accused in the Umesh Pal murder case, being brought to a hospital after being shot in an encounter by police personnel, in Prayagraj district.

Vijay alias Usman, an accused in the Umesh Pal murder case, being brought to a hospital after being shot in an encounter by police personnel, in Prayagraj district. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

PRAYAGRAJ: The man who fired the first shot at Umesh Pal, a key witness in the killing of former BSP legislator Raju Pal, was gunned down in an encounter in Kaundhiyara area by Prayagraj police early Monday, officials said.

Vijay Chaudhary alias Usman alias Naan Babu, 30, suffered bullet injuries in his neck, chest and thigh during the encounter between Gothi and Belwa under the Kaundhiyara police station area around 5.30 am, Dhoomanganj Station House Officer Rajesh Kumar Maurya said.

Constable Narendra Pal suffered injuries to his hand during the encounter and has been admitted to the local community health centre, police sources said.

Usman was a resident of Bamokhar village area of Kaundhiyara. He was among the multiple assailants who shot Umesh Pal and two of his security personnel in broad daylight in front of Pal’s house in the Dhumanganj police station area on February 24. While Umesh Pal succumbed the same day, the two personnel died later during treatment.

Police said Usman was the one who fired the first shot at Umesh Pal.

Police said that the deceased criminal Vijay Chaudhury was a practising Hindu and had been given the name 'Usman' by gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, the main accused in the 2005 Raju Pal murder case who is lodged in a Gujarat jail currently.

Usman's brother Rakesh Chaudhary is lodged in Naini Central Jail and a dozen of cases, including murder, have been registered against him.

ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar confirmed Usman's death and said that a reward of Rs 50,000 had been announced in Usman's name.

“On February 26, Arbaaz, the driver of Umesh Pal's assailants, was killed in a police encounter. On February 27, the mastermind of the murder plot, Sadaqat, was sent to jail,” said ADG Prashant Kumar. He reiterated that no accused in the Umesh Pal murder case would be spared nor would those protecting them. “Illegally built properties of people associated with this case have been demolished. UP Police is determined to catch hold of the culprits and present them in the court,” the ADG added.

He also said that a video circulated on social media as well as CCTV footage showed that Usman was the one who had shot personnel deployed in Umesh Pal’s security.

ALSO READ | House of third man linked to Umesh Pal murder accused Atiq Ahmed being demolished

Sharing the details of the encounter, Prayagraj Additional Police Commissioner Akash Kulhary said Usman had multiple cases of criminal offences pending against him.

Police sources claimed that they got a tip-off about Usman and spotted him in the Kaundhiyara area upon which a police team rushed to the spot. On seeing the police team, Usman opened fire to escape. The police chasing him fired in return. In the exchange of fire, Usman sustained injuries. He was then rushed to Swaroop Rani Nehru hospital where the doctors declared him dead upon arrival.

Meanwhile, Usman’s wife Suhani and his father Virendra Chaudhury dubbed his killing as a ‘fake’ encounter. Virendra Chaudhury claimed that his son was not involved in the shootout as he was at home on the fateful day (the day of his encounter killing). He objected to the name Usman being used by the police. “Usman is just an imaginary name,” said the man, who claimed his son was just a driver.

A first information report (FIR) was registered against 17 persons for the murder of Umesh Pal on a complaint filed by his wife Jaya on February 24.

Umesh Pal's wife had filed a complaint against Atiq Ahmed, his brother Ashraf, his wife Shaista Parveen, two sons, aides Guddu Muslim and Ghulam and nine others at Dhoomanganj police station for the murder of her husband.

The accused have been booked under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of the offence committed in prosecution of common object), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) and provisions of the Explosive Substances Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act.

In 2006, Atiq Ahmed and his aides abducted Umesh Pal and forced him to give a statement in court in their favour. Umesh Pal had registered a complaint in this regard and the case was ongoing.

The Prayagraj police meanwhile has deputed 15 teams to nab Umesh Pal’s killers and they also hiked the reward of Rs 50,000 each on five prime accused including Arman, Asad (Atiq’s son), Ghulam, Guddu Muslim and Sabir, to Rs 2.5 lakh each.

ALSO READ | Jailed Atiq Ahmed moves SC claiming he may be killed in fake encounter by UP police

(With PTI inputs)


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