Authorities in Prayagraj on Wednesday demolished the house of an associate of jailed former MP and gangster Atiq Ahmed, who has been booked in the sensational Umesh Pal murder case, for allegedly carrying out illegal construction.
Prayagraj Development Authority secretary Ajit Singh said the house belonging to Zafar Ahmed has been bulldozed and a sword and two firearms recovered from there have been handed over to the police.
Other household items have been kept at an adjacent vacant plot, where Atiq Ahmed had a palatial house that was razed after attachment in a criminal case by authorities last year.
The action by Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) came days after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had on the floor of the assembly vowed to destroy the mafia in the state after Umesh Pal, the prime witness in the 2005 murder case of the then BSP MLA Raju Pal, was shot dead along with a security man escorting him on a busy road in Prayagraj.
According to Singh, the action was taken on Wednesday as the house was constructed without getting its map (naksha) passed from the authority and a notice regarding the same was issued in the past.
Most of the house was destroyed by the afternoon, the official said.
He said Atiq Ahmed's wife Shaista Parveen used to earlier stay in the house.
"Household items were taken and kept safely in an adjacent vacant plot before the demolition began. A sword and two firearms were also recovered from the house and have been handed over to the police," said Singh.
Some important documents including the educational certificates of the wife of Atiq Ahmend and their children, their caste certificate and maps of some of their properties have also been kept safely in the vacant plot, the official said.
Umesh Pal and one of his security personnel were shot dead in Jaitipur under the Dhoomanganj police station in the city last week.
Arbaaz, an accused in the Umesh Pal murder case, was killed in an encounter with the police on Monday. Dhoomanganj police station SHO Rajesh Maurya was also injured in the encounter.
On the basis of a complaint lodged by Pal's wife Jaya Pal, a case was registered Atiq Ahmed, his brother Ashraf, wife Shaista Parveen, two sons, aides Guddu Muslim and Gulam and nine others.
On Wednesday, Atiq, who is currently lodged at the central jail Ahmedabad in Gujarat, moved the Supreme Court for protection, claiming that he and his family have been falsely "roped in" the case and he may be killed in a fake encounter by the Uttar Pradesh police.
In his plea, Ahmed has referred to the statement made by Adityanath on the floor of the assembly and claimed there is a "genuine and perceptible threat" to his and his family members' lives.
He said the Uttar Pradesh police in all likelihood will seek his transit remand and also police remand to take him from Ahmedabad to Prayagraj and he "genuinely apprehends that he may be eliminated during this transit period".
In his plea filed in the apex court, 61-year-old Ahmed has sought directions to the Centre, the state of Uttar Pradesh and others to protect his life against the "open, direct and immediate threat" from high state functionaries of Uttar Pradesh.
"After the murder of Umesh Pal, Opposition put fuel in the fire in the House which provoked the CM to say... 'mafia ko mitti me mila doonga' because petitioner was the main subject in argument in House," the plea said.
Chief Minister Adityanath has often spoken about the actions taken by his government to improve the law and order situation in the state, including frequent reference to the bulldozer which his dispensation deployed to raze the ill-gotten property of criminals and mafia.