UP don Atiq, two aides get life term in 2006 Umesh Pal abduction case

Meanwhile, Atiq’s lawyer said that they will approach a higher court to challenge the verdict.

Lucknow | Updated: 28 March, 2023 2:36 pm IST

Dreaded gangster-politician Atiq Ahmed, who unleashed terror on Uttar Pradesh over the last three decades, and two others were sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court in Prayagraj in the 2006 Umesh Pal abduction case on Tuesday.

The special MP/MLA court convicted Atiq and co-accused Dinesh Pasi and Khan Sauqat Hanif and also imposed a fine of ₹1 lakh each on them.

Atiq and Dinesh have been convicted under sections 364A (kidnapping for ransom), 120B (a party to criminal conspiracy), 147 (rioting), 323/149 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 504 (insult), 506(2) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. Khan has been found guilty for sections 364 (abduction) and 120B (a party to criminal conspiracy).

The court, however, acquitted Atiq’s jailed brother Ashraf and six others of all charges. The six other accused are Javed alias Bajju, Farhan, Aabid, Israr, Asif, and Ejaz Akhtar.

Another accused Ansar Baba died during the course of the court trial.

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 the court amid tight security arrangements. Ashraf was also brought from Bareilly jail to the city last evening.

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.

ALSO READ: Yogi govt bulldozes house of mafia Atiq’s aide in Prayagraj

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.

ALSO READ: Lucky Atiq escapes cattle jinx that triggered Vikas Dubey’s encounter

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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