Prayagraj (UP): Police patrolling was intensified on Sunday in Prayagraj’s Chakiya area where gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad’s house is located even as the Uttar Pradesh police tightened security across the state, a day after Atiq and his brother Ashraf were shot dead at point-blank range.
Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have been issued in all districts of Uttar Pradesh to prevent any untoward incident. Internet services remain shut in Prayagraj district as part of the security measures.
The two brothers were shot dead at point-blank range by three men posing as journalists in the middle of a media interaction on Saturday night while police personnel were escorting them to a medical college here for a checkup.
Briefing reporters about the incident, Commissioner of Police, Prayagraj, Ramit Sharma had on Saturday said the three assailants, who were arrested immediately after the incident, had joined the group of media persons who were trying to get sound bites from Ahmad and Ashraf.
“In accordance with a mandatory legal requirement, Ahmad and Ashraf were brought to the hospital for a medical examination. According to preliminary information, three men posing as journalists approached them and opened fire. Ahmad and Ashraf were killed in the attack. The attackers have been held and are being questioned,” Sharma said.
Meanwhile, police on Sunday registered a case against the three assailants.
SHO of Dhoomanganj police station, Rajesh Kumar Maurya said the case has been registered against Lavlesh Tiwari (a resident of Banda), Mohit alias Sunny (Hamirpur) and Arun Maurya (Kasganj). The case has been registered under sections 302 (punishment for murder), 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC, Arms Act and Criminal Law Amendment Act.
Police had also recovered the arms used in the crime from the spot.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has formed a three-member judicial commission to probe the killing of Ahmad and his brother.
The brothers, both jailed in Prayagraj, were in handcuffs when they were killed in full view of camera crews around 10 pm on Saturday. The horrifying visuals were circulated widely on social media platforms and television channels. The last rites of Ahmad’s son Asad, who was gunned down in a police encounter in Jhansi on April 13, were performed here just hours before the shooting.
Police constable Man Singh was injured in the incident as a bullet hit his arm, an officer said, adding that a journalist was also hurt after he fell during the commotion that followed the shooting.
Video footage showed a man thrusting a gun at Ahmad’s head as he talks to reporters and the former Samajwadi Party (SP) MP collapsing. The footage also showed the three assailants firing at the brothers even after they had fallen.
The bullet-riddled bodies of Ahmad and Ashraf were taken away from the spot as tension gripped the area after the sensational killings. In 2006, Ahmad and his aides abducted Umesh Pal and forced him to give a statement in court in their favour. Umesh Pal had got a complaint registered in this regard.
The Supreme Court had in April 2019 directed that Ahmad be shifted to a high-security jail in Gujarat after he was accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and assault of Lucknow-based real-estate businessman Mohit Jaiswal while in jail.
Ahmad was named in more than 100 criminal cases, including the Umesh Pal murder case, police said.
Among the most sensational murders in which Ahmad was allegedly involved was that of Raju Pal, the then BSP MLA who was shot dead in 2005.
Ahmad moved the Supreme Court for protection, claiming that he and his family have been falsely implicated in the Umesh Pal murder case and he may be killed in a fake encounter by the Uttar Pradesh Police.