A special court in Prayagraj on Tuesday convicted three accused, including mafia-turned-politician and former MP Atiq Ahmed, in the nearly 17-year-old kidnapping of Umesh Pal, a key witness in the Raju Pal murder case.
District Government Advocate Gulab Chandra Agrahari said that Prayagraj’s MP-MLA (MP-MLA) court judge Dinesh Chandra Shukla convicted three accused, including Atiq Ahmed, his lawyer Saulat Hanif and accomplice Dinesh Pasi, in the Umesh Pal kidnapping case in 2006. have agreed.
All three have been held guilty under section 364-A of the Indian Penal Code. It has a provision of maximum death penalty. The court has acquitted seven accused including Atiq’s brother Ashraf due to lack of evidence.
A charge sheet was filed against a total of 11 accused in the case. One of them died during the trial. Mafia and former MP Atiq Ahmed and his brother Khalid Azim alias Ashraf were produced in the MP-MLA court of Prayagraj at around 12 noon in connection with the kidnapping of Umesh Pal.
Ahmed was brought from Gujarat’s Sabarmati Jail and Ashraf from Bareilly Jail to Prayagraj’s Naini Central Jail on Monday. Umesh Pal, the then district panchayat member, was an eyewitness to the murder of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Raju Pal on January 25, 2005. Atiq Ahmed is an accused in the Raju Pal murder case.
Umesh had alleged that he was abducted on February 28, 2006 when he refused to relent and bow down to Ahmed’s pressure. An FIR was registered in this case on July 5, 2007 against Ateeq, his brother Ashraf and four unknown persons. Eleven accused were mentioned in the charge sheet presented in the court.
Umesh Pal and two policemen posted under his security were shot dead in Prayagraj on February 24 this year. A case was registered against Ahmed, his brother Ashraf, wife Shaista Parveen, two sons, aides Guddu Muslim and Ghulam and nine others at Prayagraj’s Dhumanganj police station on a complaint by Pal’s wife Jaya.
Atiq Ahmed, a former Samajwadi Party (SP) MP from Phulpur, was shifted to Gujarat’s Sabarmati Central Jail in June 2019. Ateeq was sent to Sabarmati Jail after he was accused of kidnapping and assaulting real estate baron Mohit Jaiswal while he was in jail in Uttar Pradesh. Amid heavy security, Ahmed was brought from Sabarmati Jail in Gujarat and Ashraf from Bareilly Jail to Naini Central Jail in Prayagraj on Monday and produced before the court here on Tuesday.
Both the brothers are accused of conspiring to kill Umesh Pal while in jail. At the same time, Atiq Ahmed is named in more than 100 criminal cases including the Umesh Pal murder case.
On Sunday, when Atiq Ahmed was being brought from Sabarmati Jail to Naini Jail, journalists asked him if he was scared. To this Ateeq said, “Why fear?” He said, “I know their schedule…they want to kill me.”
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