All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday afternoon joined Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav in criticising Uttar Pradesh's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party after Asad Ahmad - an accused in the murder of Umesh Pal, whose father Atiq Ahmad is named in the same case - died in an encounter with UP Police.

Speaking in Telangana's Nizamabad, he asked if 'the BJP (will) also shoot those who killed Junaid and Nasir' - a reference to two men killed allegedly by cow vigilantes in February; their charred bodies were found in a SUV in Haryana.

"Will the BJP also shoot those who killed Junaid and Nasir? Will the BJP also do encounter killing of those who killed Junaid and Nasir? No, because you (the BJP) do encounters in the name of religion," a furious Owaisi said.

"You want to weaken the rule of law... do 'encounter' of the Constitution."

"Why do we have courts... the law... why is there CrPC (Code

of Criminal Procedure), IPC (Indian Penal Code)... why are there judges? You have just decided to do 'encounter killings'. What will judges do then? This is their job!"

"Your job is to catch the killers... if someone kills, send them to jail," he added, and then took a swipe at the BJP over the controversial 'bulldozer justice' practice, saying, "If someone kills... destroy their homes with bulldozers."

Asad Ahmad and another individual - identified as Ghulam - were shot dead in the encounter with UP Police's Special Task Force.

The cops said two foreign-made weapons - a British Bulldog revolver and a Walther P88 pistol were recovered from the scene.

Asad and Atiq are wanted in the killing of Umesh Pal, who was a witness to the murder of a Bahujan Samaj Party lawmaker Raju Pal and two cops assigned to his security; they were shot outside the BSP leader's home in Prayagraj in 2005.

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