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Tailed Atiq and his sibling, then murdered them for notoriety: Police quote apprehended trio

People gather at the crime site in Prayagraj, India, on Sunday, April 16, 2023, where Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf were shot to death while being transported to a hospital. (PTI Photo)

As a security blanket was thrown over Prayagraj, the three youths arrested for killing gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf on Saturday night were quoted by police as saying, “We wanted to end Atiq and Ashraf’s gang and become famous” because “this would benefit us in the future.”

Sunday in Prayagraj, Lavlesh Tiwari (22), Mohit alias Sunny Puraney (23), and Arun Kumar Maurya (18) were brought before a local magistrate. District Government Counsel Gulab Chand Agrihari stated that the court had placed the three accused in judicial detention until April 29.

Tiwari was reportedly being treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound to his right hand, which he sustained in the Saturday night shooting incident, according to police.

On Sunday, the Uttar Pradesh government, which opposition parties criticised for the manner in which Atiq and his sibling Ashraf were murdered while being escorted by police, established a judicial commission to investigate the incident.

A spokesperson for the government stated that a three-member judicial commission has been established in accordance with the Commissions of Inquiry Act of 1952. “Within two months, the three-member commission will submit its report. The report will be submitted to the state government, according to a spokesperson.

Retired Allahabad High Court judge Justice Arvind Kumar Tripathi will lead the commission. The other two members will be retired district court judge Brijesh Kumar Soni and former UP DGP Subodh Kumar Singh.

During interrogation, the three men told police that they had been following Atiq and Ashraf since learning that police had brought them to Prayagraj.

According to a FIR lodged by Rajesh Kumar Maurya, Station House Officer of Dhoomanganj police station, at Shahganj police station, the accused had been booked under IPC sections pertaining to murder and attempted murder, as well as sections of the Arms Act and Criminal Law (Amendment) Act.

According to the FIR, the three suspects told police that they wished to become renowned by eliminating Atiq and Ashraf’s gang.

Hatya karne ke bare mein poochane par teeno abhyukton ne bataya ki hum log Atiq wah Ashraf gang ka safaya karke pradesh mein apne naam ki pehchan banana chahte thhey jis labh bhavishya mein nischit roop se milta.

It also stated that the suspects told police that they had been attempting to approach Atiq and Ashraf by posing as journalists ever since they learned about the brothers, but they were unable to escape the scene of the crime.

Saturday evening, Atiq and Ashraf reportedly complained of feeling unwell, prompting a team of detectives led by SHO Maurya to transport them to Moti Lal Nehru Zonal Hospital (Colvin) for a medical examination. There were also seven sub-inspectors and thirteen constables on the team.

Atiq and Ashraf were held in police detention for four days in connection with the murder of Umesh Pal.

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After spotting media personnel at the hospital’s entrance, Atiq and Ashraf, according to the police, began to walk slowly and halted to address the media when the attackers opened fire.

Constable Man Singh sustained a bullet wound in the assault. The policemen apprehended the attackers and placed them in detention.

Police reported 54 cases against Ashraf, and Atiq Ahmed’s criminal record included eight murders, including that of Umesh Pal in Prayagraj. Atiq was incarcerated in the Sabarmati Central Jail in Gujarat, whereas Asharaf was incarcerated in the Bareilly Jail. On April 12, they were brought to Prayagraj on transit remand. They were detained in Prayagraj’s Naini Central Jail.

A court had ordered the police to record Atiq Ahmed’s statement. According to the police, Atiq confessed in his statement to having ties to Pakistan’s ISI and the terrorist organisation Laskar-e-Toiba. His police detention was set to expire on April 17 at 5 p.m.

On Sunday, all shops in Prayagraj remained closed, and there was a significant police presence in Chakia, where Atiq’s home is located. Atiq and Ashraf’s postmortem examination was concluded in the afternoon, and their bodies were transported to Chakia for burial.

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