Atiq Shot Dead: Killers posed as journalists; carried mike, camera; 3 arrested

| Updated: 16 April, 2023 12:21 am IST

PRAYAGRAJ: The attackers, who pumped bullets into the mafia don Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf on Saturday, had come disguised as journalists , carrying microphones and cameras.

The attackers have been identified as Lavlesh Tiwari, Sunny, and Arun Maurya, leaving the UP Police in a state of rude shock as how the security was compromised.

It remains unclear what motivated their heinous act and if they belonged to any outfit.

In a chilling turn of events, the streets of Prayagraj on Saturday night were stained with blood as Atiq Ahmad and Ashraf were  gunned down in full public glare while on their way to the civil hospital.

As they approached the civil hospital for a health check-up in Prayagraj at around 10:20 pm:, the assailants struck, indiscriminately firing bullets at point blank.

Atiq’s routine white turban flew into air as he collapsed on the ground, gasping for breath. Within split seconds, the attacker turned towards his brother pumping more bullets into Ashraf body.

Another man in a check shirt carrying black rucksack chanted slogans before being apprehended by the police. The New Indian was present at the murder site – MLN Medical College, where Atiq was being taken for check-up.

Questions were being raised on social media on how Atiq’s security was breached at night. It’s still not clear why UP Police chose to take Atiq for a check up in full public glare amid open access to the media, public and locals on ground.

BJP spokesperson Tajinder Singh Bagga pointed out that such huge media gathering should not be allowed to cover such high profile cases.

UP police personnel, who accompanied the duo, looked clumsy as they tried to contain the murderous rampage while the belligerent killer wriggled out of their grip and continued to fire bullet.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath has called for a high-level meeting, with strict security measures in place around his residence. Senior officers of the UP administration and police have rushed to attend the meeting.

Former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav expressed shock and dismay, stating that crime in the state has reached an alarming level and that the morale of the criminals is high. He added that if someone can be shot and killed in broad daylight in the presence of police, then what about the safety of the common people? The killing has created an atmosphere of fear among the public, and it seems that some people are intentionally creating such an environment, he said.

AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said, “Atiq and his brother were killed while in police custody and were handcuffed. Slogans of JSR were also raised. Their murder is a perfect example of Yogi’s big failure of law & order. Those celebrating encounter-raj are equally responsible for this murder.”

BJP leader Kapil Mishra tweeted, “The police and law enforcement are doing their job regarding Atik Ahmad. Please do not make any statement or post that may create a negative environment or give someone a reason to get agitated. The police are on high alert throughout Uttar Pradesh, and Chief Minister Yogi is personally monitoring the situation. If anyone intentionally tries to disrupt the peace, please inform the police immediately.”

This incident comes just days after Atiq’s son Asad and his associate Ghulam were killed in a shootout with the state’s Special Task Force (STF) in Jhansi district. Asad was accused of firing the shots that led to the murder of lawyer Umesh Pal on February 24, who was a key witness in the Raju Pal murder case in which Atiq was implicated.

Atiq Ahmed, who had been imprisoned in Sabarmati jail since June 2019, has been named as an accused in over 100 criminal cases, including the recent murder of Umesh Pal. Following a Supreme Court directive to shift the former MP from UP’s Phulpur to a high-security jail in Gujarat, he was moved to the Gujarat jail. His reign of terror may be over, but his legacy of violence continues to haunt the streets of Prayagraj.

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