Atiq Ahmed killing: Opposition leaders call for UP govt's dismissal

Opposition leaders criticised the law and order situation in UP, after Atiq and brother Ashraf were shot dead in Prayagraj while in police custody

Former MP Atiq Ahmed
Former MP Atiq Ahmed

NH National Bureau

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 Ahmed and his brother Ashraf were shot dead in Prayagraj.

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

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

Reacting to the incident, SP president Akhilesh Yadav tweeted 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."

Ahmed (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 here for a checkup.

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

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Chaudhary asked if 'jungle raj' prevails in the state."Nobody is sympathising with Atiq Ahmed 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.

Chaudhury went on to add, "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 [WARNING: graphic content] shows a man pointing a gun at Ahmed's head as he talks to reporters and the former SP MP collapsing. The footage also shows 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."

BSP MP from Amroha, Danish Ali said in his tweet, "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."

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

Atiq Ahmed and brother were killed just outside the medical college, in media presence
Atiq Ahmed and brother were killed just outside the medical college, in media presence
Social Media

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 Ahmed and his brother came on a day the former MP's son Asad, who was killed in a police encounter in Jhansi on April 13, was buried in Prayagraj.

Ahmed and his brother were brought to Prayagraj for a court hearing in March, in connection with the Umesh Pal murder case and had been remanded to police custody.

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

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

With PTI inputs

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