Safe & Sound: UP Police bring Atiq ‘home’

Belying all theories floated by the gangster-turned-politician, UP police bring Atiq Ahmed back to UP. He is lodged in Prayagraj’s Naini jail

NEW DELHI | Updated: 27 March, 2023 7:58 pm IST
Atiq Ahmed will be under round the clock watch

With two pee stops and eight routine stops, Uttar Pradesh police bring gangster turned politician Atiq Ahmad to Naini jail in Prayagraj ahead of his sentencing in the Umesh Pal kidnapping case on Tuesday, March 28.

While the 60-year-old former Samajwadi Party MLA tried all sorts of tricks to stop his return to Uttar Pradesh. Ahmed had even floated the idea that he might be eliminated by the Uttar Pradesh police en route to Prayagraj.

However, meticulous planning by UP police, which was executed by 45 police personnel led by IPS officer Abhishek Bharti, ensured there were no mishaps – a 20-minute halt owing to a collision with a cattle in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh notwithstanding.

At Naini jail, Ahmed will be kept in a high-security barrack with a round-the-clock CCTV camera for surveillance.

“Mafia-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed will be kept in isolation in a high-security barrack at the jail. His cell will have a CCTV camera. Jail staff will be chosen and deployed on the basis of their records, they will have body-worn cameras,” DG (prisons) Anand Kumar said.

After starting their 1274.9 km journey from Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati Jail on Sunday evening, the six-car convoy of UP police, which included two vajra vehicles, travelled through Udaipur before taking the Bundelkhand expressway on their way to Prayagraj.

The convoy was followed by Ahmed’s sister Ayesha Noori, lawyers and media. A lot of drama was ensured as the convoy stopped in Shivpuri district before entering Jhansi.

While the convoy as one of the vehicles hit a cattle, it ensured a lot of drama as Noori fanned speculations. “We do not know why the convoy was stopped. Prasashan par bharosa nahi hai (we don’t trust the administration), let’s see what happens next, hopefully, everything will be alright,” she said.

“Of course, we fear there could be an encounter. You must have heard the chief minister’s statement,” she added.

A few days back Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said that mafia like Atiq Ahmed will be crushed in Uttar Pradesh.

After starting their journey at around 6 pm in the evening on Sunday, images appeared as the convoy took a refuelling break in Udaipur while Ahmed requested a pee break.

The convoy passed Rajasthan’s Kota late at night yesterday and halted at Tathed in Kota.

Ahmed will be produced in court in Prayagraj, where he will be sentenced for his involvement in the Umesh Pal kidnapping case. The court is scheduled to pass an order on March 28.

UP police had made an elaborate arrangement to bring the former Samajwadi Party MLA, who has been lodged at Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati jail since June 2019 following a Supreme Court order in April 2019.

Ahmed, a man with a chequered past, was allegedly involved in the murder of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Raju Pal, who was shot dead in 2005.

Most recently, Ahmed’s henchmen were also involved in the daylight murder of a key witness in the Raju Pal murder case, Umesh Pal. He was gunned down outside his residence in Prayagraj on February 24 of this year.

Earlier this month, Ahmed moved to the Supreme Court for protection. Ahmed claimed that he and his family have been falsely implicated in the Umesh Pal murder case. He also said that he fears that he may be killed in a fake encounter.

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