UP: Umesh Pal, a witness to a 2005 murder case, was killed in a daylight shooting outside his home in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj. His security guard was also killed in the shootout by five men. The killing was allegedly planned by gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, who is currently in jail in Ahmedabad. According to the police, Atiq Ahmed sent his closest associates to kill the witness before he could record his statement to the police.
Umesh Pal had witnessed the murder of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Raju Pal, who was a bitter rival of Atiq Ahmed. Atiq Ahmed, along with his son and wife, BSP leader Shaista Parveen, were named in the FIR on the killing. One of the accused was killed in an alleged encounter with the police on Monday.
Police and officials of Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) have identified 20 persons close to Atique Ahmed and his gang against whom bulldozer action will be initiated. The authorities have identified their properties which are likely to be razed in the next 48 hours.
Areas in Prayagraj where their properties have been identified are Teliyarganj, Chakia, Dhumanganj, Salemsarai, Harwara, Jayantipur, Sadiapur, Mindera, Jhalwa and Atala.
Bulldozers demolished house of Atiq Ahmed's close aide
On Wednesday the house of one Jafar Ahmad was bulldozed in Prayagraj where the family of mafia Atiq Ahmad used to live on rent. Jafar was a close aide of Atiq and had rented his house to Atiq's family. Police have recovered a rifle, a pistol and a sword from this house. Meanwhile, the police gunner injured in the Parayagraj shootout succumbed to death in PGI Lucknow trauma centre during treatment. He was rushed to Lucknow from Prayagraj two days after his condition had become critical.
The Prayagraj Development Authority deployed bulldozers to raze the double-story house of Jafar in the Chakia locality under the Dhoomanganj police station. The market value of this house is estimated at Rs 3 crores. According to Prayagraj police, Jafar gave shelter to Atiq’s family when the latter's house was seized last year on court orders.
Saulat Haneef, the advocate of Atiq Ahmad said that the house razed on Wednesday at Chakia belonged to Jafar Ahmad. This property was purchased by Jafar in January 2021 with monetary help from his father. He said that the paternal house of Shaista Parveen, wife of Atiq Ahmad is in front of this house. After her own house was razed in Chakia, the family of Shaista was living here on rent. He said that the house was bulldozed by the development authority without serving any prior notice to Jafar Ahmad, the owner.
It may be mentioned that on Friday evening, Umesh Pal, the prime witness in the legislator Raju Pal murder case, was shot dead while his two police gunners were critically injured in a shootout in Sulem Sarai area of Prayagraj. One of the police gunners too succumbed to injuries later on. The wife of deceased Umesh Pal, who was prime witness in the Raju Pal murder case, has lodged an FIR against family members of Atiq Ahmad along with close aides of the former MP.
The Prayagraj police have killed one of the assailants, Arbaaz in an encounter on Tuesday. On Wednesday the police took one Nafees, a Biryani seller, into custody. The Hyundai Creta car of Nafees was used by assailants in the shootout.
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