Published By: Debalina Dey
Last Updated: April 16, 2023, 19:50 IST
With gangster-politician Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf shot dead by assailants in Prayagraj on Saturday, three of the family’s four members named in the Umesh Pal murder case have been killed.
Ten people were named in the FIR registered at the Dhoomanganj police station of Prayagraj on February 25, a day after Umesh Pal was killed. Ahmad’s son Asad was also named as a shooter, along with six others.
Apart from Ahmad and Ashraf, four others named in the FIR — Asad, Arbaaz, Vijay Chaudhary alias Usman and Ghulam — have also been killed.
Ahmad’s wife Shaista Parveen and three other alleged shooters are absconding.
Umesh Pal was a key witness in the 2005 MLA Raju Pal murder case, in which Ahmad was also an accused.
Of the seven people seen in the CCTV footage that captured the killing of Umesh Pal, Arbaaz, who allegedly drove a sports utility vehicle (SUV) carrying the attackers, was killed in an encounter on February 27.
Shooter Vijay Chaudhary alias Usman was killed in an encounter in Prayagraj on March 6. Asad and Ghulam were killed in another encounter with the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force in Jhansi on April 13.
The three remaining shooters — Guddu Muslim, Sabir and Armaan — are absconding. Parveen is also on the run.
Ahmad, a former Samajwadi Party (SP) MP, had earlier expressed apprehension that he could be killed by the Uttar Pradesh Police while being brought to Prayagraj from an Ahmedabad prison, where he was lodged in connection with another case.
When he was being taken to the city for Thursday’s court appearance, he made a similar remark.
“I am totally reduced to dust, but please do not trouble the women and children of my family now,” the gangster-turned-politician told reporters from inside a police van.
On March 28, Ashraf told reporters in Bareilly that a plan was being made to kill him.
“A very senior official has threatened me that I will be brought out of jail within two weeks and killed,” Ashraf told reporters from inside a prison van. He, however, declined to divulge the official’s name.
After Umesh Pal’s killing, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had flagged the law-and-order situation of Uttar Pradesh in the state Assembly.
In a heated debate that followed, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had accused the SP of sheltering gangsters like Ahmad and said the government will ground the mafia to dust (“mitti me mila denge”).
Ahmad and Ashraf will be buried in their native village in Prayagraj on Saturday, officials said.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)