Atiq Ahmed, brother found guilty in 2006 Umesh Pal abduction case

The court is likely to deliver the quantum of punishment later in the day.

New Delhi | Updated: 28 March, 2023 1:01 pm IST
Jailed UP mafia don Atiq Ahmed (file photo)

Dreaded gangster-politician Atiq Ahmed, who unleased terror on Uttar Pradesh over the last three decades, has been found guilty by a special court in Prayagraj in the 2006 Umesh Pal abduction case.

Atiq, who was brought to Prayagraj on Monday evening by road from Sabarmati jail in Gujarat, along with his jailed brother Ashraf was produced before a special MP/MLA court amid tight security arrangements. Ashraf was also brought from Bareilly jail to the city last evening.

Apart from Atiq, 10 others have also been convicted of kidnapping Umesh Pal, the prime witness in the case related to the killing of BSP MLA Raju Pal in 2005.

Atiq, a former Lok Sabha MP, has been convicted under sections 364A (Kidnapping for ransom) and 120 B (a party to a criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The court is likely to deliver the quantum of punishment later in the day.

Meanwhile, advocates raised slogans demanding capital punishment for Atiq when he was brought to the court premises. The gangster stared at demonstrators in anger but the sloganeering continued.

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Similarly, there was no sign of remorse on the face of his brother Ashraf when he reached the court accompanied by personnel of UP Police. He smiled and waved at media persons stationed at the court.

In February, 2006, Umesh Pal – who was gunned down allegedly by Atiq’s men in broad daylight in Prayagraj last month – filed a complaint with police alleging that he was kidnapped at gunpoint earlier that month after he refused to back down under the mafia’s pressure.

However, police registered the FIR based on Umesh’s complaint more than a year later on July 5, 2007 against Atiq, his brother and some unidentified people.

Umesh, then a zila panchayat member, was the prime witness in the murder of then BJP legislator Raju Pal after he defeated Ashraf from Allahabad (West) Assembly seat in the 2005 Assembly elections. Atiq along with Ashraf is accused in the sensational murder case.

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On February 24 this year, Umesh Pal was murdered in a shootout near his residence in a busy neighbourhood in Prayagraj when he returned after appearing before a city court in the Raju Pal murder case.

Two police guards provided to Umesh Pal were also killed in the gunfight. While a cop succumbed to bullet injuries on the spot, another lost his battle for life in a hospital a few days later.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by Atiq Ahmed for protection during his custody with the Uttar Pradesh Police in the Umesh Pal case, claiming that he was under threat in the state.

The apex court, however, granted him liberty to approach the Allahabad High Court to seek protection. While turning down his plea, a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi said that the UP state machinery will take care of his protection in case of any threat to his life.

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