Gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf were shot dead in Prayagraj Saturday night while in police custody. Three men opened up on the pair as they were taken to Prayagraj medical college for a check-up. Three individuals have been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police for opening fire on Atiq, Ashraf and their companions.
Ahmed (60), a five-term MLA from Allahabad West and one-term MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Phulpur district, was sent to four-day police custody by the court of the chief judicial magistrate in Prayagraj Thursday.
Atiq received a life sentence in March for his conviction in a 2007 abduction case. This was Atiq’s first conviction. He is accused of at least 130 crimes, ranging from murder and extortion to extortion.
The fatal attack on Atiq came days after his son Asad and his accomplice Ghulam were killed in a ‘police encounter’ in Jhansi. Both were named as accused in the killing of Umesh Pal, a key witness in the 2005 murder case of BSP MLA Raju Pal, who was shot dead in broad daylight outside his home in Prayagraj’s Dhoomanganj area on February 24 this year.
Also Read: ‘Totally reduced to dust’: Atiq Ahmed on his life — from a dreaded gangster to MP, and then in jail
09:50 am Interrogation by the police reveals that the accused stayed in a Prayagraj hotel for the last 48 hours. The police are investigating the incident and have conducted raids since this morning.
09:40 a.m. According to Prayagraj’s police, each of the three accused has a criminal history. The accused confessed to the murders during the interrogation. They said they were aspiring big mafias. The police do not rely on the statements made by the accused, because they contradict one another.
9:20 am According to senior UP Police officials, the three attackers were identified as Arun Mauriya from Kasganj and Lavlesh Twari from Banda. Rohit alias Sunny was also arrested in Hamirpur. The three attackers were also found to have three pistols.
9:00 am Prayagraj Internet service suspended
8:30 am Reacting to the incident, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) cheif Assaduddin Owaisi said, “Atiq and his brother were in police custody. He was handcuffed. JSR slogans also were raised. The killing of both is the failure of Yogi’s law and order system. Those celebrating encounter raj are also responsible for this murder.”
He demanded the resignation of CM Adityanath, as well as all present police officers.
अतीक़ और उनके भाई पुलिस की हिरासत में थे। उन पर हथकड़ियाँ लगी हुई थीं। JSR के नारे भी लगाये गये। दोनों की हत्या योगी के क़ानून व्यवस्था की नाकामी है। एनकाउंटर राज का जश्न मनाने वाले भी इस हत्या के ज़िम्मेदार हैं।
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) April 15, 2023
7:45 a.m. UP Chief minister Yogi Ajityanath held a meeting late at night in Lucknow. He instructed state police officers on high alert to ensure law and orders are maintained throughout the entire state.
“CM has also appealed to people not to pay any attention to rumours. Strict action will be taken against those who spread rumours”, according to the Chief Minister office’s statement.
2:10 am: Meanwhile, BJP MP Subrat Pathak called for a “thorough probe” into the attack on Atiq. Taking to Twitter, he said, “There must be a thorough probe on murder of Atiq Ahmed and Ashraf…..strict action will be taken against the murderers.”
1:50 am: Kapil Sibal of the Rajya Sabha also condemned the killings via social media. He wrote on Twitter, “Two murders in UP: 1) Atiq Ahmed and brother Ashraf 2) Rule of law.”
1:45 am: “When someone can be killed by firing openly amidst the security cordon of the police, then what about the safety of the general public,” asked Akhilesh Yadav.’
Also Read: ‘Pure anarchy, murder of rule of law’: Politicians condemn killings of Atiq Ahmed, his brother
1:30 am: The armed constabulary of the UP Police and the Rapid Action Force (RAF), which has been deployed around the Prayagraj Medical College, where Atiq and his brother were killed, have also been involved.
1:15 am: After the deadly attack on Atiq A., Prohibition Orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were issued in all 75 districts within Uttar Pradesh.
01:00 am: Ramit Sharma told the press that the police are currently questioning three individuals arrested near the scene. Sharma told the media that a preliminary investigation led police to believe the three men who shot Atiq Ashraf and posed as journalists to infiltrate a police cordon.
A reporter from the news agency ANI, as well as a police constable, were also wounded in the shooting.
Also Read: ‘Nahi le gaye toh nahi gaye’: Atiq Ahmed’s last words before being shot dead in Prayagraj
12:45 am: Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has convened a meeting at a high level in Lucknow in order to discuss the security failure that led to Atiq and Ashraf’s deaths in public view. News agency reports ANIThe CM of UP has also formed a three member judicial inquiry committee to investigate the matter.
12:30 am: The section 144 CrPC which prohibits the gathering of more than 4 people in a single place has been enforced in Prayagraj following the attack that killed Atiq Ahmed, his brother Ashraf and their mother.
Also Read: ‘No dust marks, empty pistol’: Retd IPS seeks NHRC probe into Asad-Ghulam ‘encounter’ by UP STF