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'This can't happen without...': Oppn slams UP govt over Atiq murder

Last updated on: April 16, 2023 01:57 IST

Opposition leaders on Saturday questioned the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh and demanded that the state government be dismissed after gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf were shot dead in Prayagraj.

IMAGE: Policemen attempt to apprehend an assailant who opened fire at Gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf Ahmed while they were being taken for a medical checkup, in Prayagraj. Photograph: PTI Photo

The "cold-blooded" killings are the "height of anarchy" in Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party MP Danish Ali claimed.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said crime has reached its peak in Uttar Pradesh and criminals are unfazed.

Ahmad (60) and Ashraf 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 in Prayagraj for a checkup.

The brothers, both jailed in Prayagraj, were in handcuffs when they were killed in full view of camera crews around 10 pm. The horrifying visuals were circulated widely on social media platforms and television channels.

Reacting to the incident, SP president Akhilesh Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi: "Crime has reached its peak in Uttar Pradesh and the criminals are unfazed. When someone can be shot dead amidst a police cordon, then what about the safety of the general public? An atmosphere of fear is being created among the public due to this and it seems that some people are deliberately creating such an atmosphere."


Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary asked if 'jungle raj' prevails in the state.

"Nobody is sympathising with Atiq Ahmad because a criminal should be punished. But anyone who will see this video will question if we are a democracy. Every criminal has the right to be heard in court and be convicted there. But you can see they were killed in police custody in the open," he said.

He further said, "The chief minister should answer what kind of law and order he has established in the state. Is this not jungle raj and a ground to call for emergency rule in UP?"

Video footage showed a man thrusting a gun at Ahmad's head as he talks to reporters and the former SP MP collapsing. The footage also showed the three assailants firing at Ahmad and Ashraf 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 a tweet, Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal said, "Two murders in UP: 1) Atiq Ahmed and brother Ashraf 2) Rule of law."

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP from Amroha Danish Ali said the "cold-blooded" murder of Ahmad and his brother is the "height of anarchy" in Uttar Pradesh.

"This can't happen without a go-ahead from the top. In any other democracy the state government must have been dismissed for such a heinous crime against the rule of law," he said in a tweet.

The three assailants who fired at Ahmad and Ashraf were arrested immediately after the incident.

In a tweet in Hindi, Uttar Pradesh minister Swatantra Dev Singh said, "Sins and virtue are accounted for in this birth..."

The tragic end of Ahmad and his brother came on a day the ex-MP's son Asad, who was killed in a police encounter in Jhansi on April 13, was buried in Prayagraj.

Ahmad and his brother were brought to Prayagraj for a court hearing in connection with the Umesh Pal murder case and were remanded in police custody.

Umesh Pal, a key witness in the murder case of BSP MLA Raju Pal, and his two police security guards were shot dead outside his Dhoomanganj residence here on February 24.

Based on a complaint lodged by Umesh Pal's wife Jaya Pal, a case was registered on February 25 against Ahmad, Ashraf, Ahmad's wife Shaista Parveen, two sons, aides Guddu Muslim and Ghulam, and nine others.

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