Umesh Pal murder: Prayagraj police file first chargesheet

Prayagraj police on Friday filed its first chargesheet in the murder case of advocate Umesh Pal (48) and two police gunners in a local court against one of the nine accused arrested in this connection.

Police said the investigation into the role of the other eight accused was still on and chargesheets against them would also be filed soon.

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Umesh Pal (48) and two police gunners were shot dead in the city’s Dhoomanganj area on February 24.

District Government Counsel, Prayagraj, Gulab Chandra Agrihari said, “After collecting evidence, Prayagraj police today filed a chargesheet against Sadakat Khan. Besides, police also invoked the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the case during the investigation.”

Police said the 1.857-page chargesheet was filed under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 506 (criminal intimidation), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the India Penal Code (IPC). Besides these, police said, the accused was also chargesheeted under the Explosive Substance Act, the Criminal Law Amendment Act and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Prayagraj DCP Deepak Bhuker said the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was invoked in the case because Umesh Pal belonged to the Scheduled Caste.

According to police sources, after invoking the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the investigation has been transferred to Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dhoomanganj (Prayagraj), Mahendra Singh Dev, and a team of investigating officers has been formed under him.

Dhoomanganj Station House Officer Rajesh Kumar Maurya was investigating the case, so far.

According to police, Sadakat Khan was arrested on February 27 in Prayagraj for his alleged involvement in the murder case as his hostel room in Prayagraj was one of the places where the planning for the murder took place.

Police had then said that during the questioning Sadakat Khan had provided information about WhatsApp calls and messages related to the case and also named a few persons involved in the crime. When Khan was taken to his hostel room during the investigation, he attempted to escape but suffered injuries after hitting a median strip on the road, and had to be shifted to the hospital.

The eight other accused are Kaish Ahmed, Mohammad Sajar, Niyaz Ahmed, Mohammad Arshad Khan alias Arshad Katra, Rakesh Kumar alias Nakesh Kumar Lala, Sharukh, Dr Akhlaq Ahmed and Khan Shoulat Hanif. All nine accused, including Sadakat Khan, are currently lodged in jail.

On February 24, when Umesh Pal, alias, Krishna Kumar, alighted from his car at the entrance of his house in Dhoomanganj, assailants opened fire and hurled bombs at him and his two police bodyguards, and escaped in a vehicle. Locals rushed the trio to a hospital where doctors proclaimed Umesh Pal and police gunner Sandeep Nishad dead upon arrival, while another gunner Raghvendra Singh died during the treatment.