Atiq Ahmed murder case: The sensational assassination of mafia-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother continues to make headlines even after almost a week of the incident which occurred on April 15. As part of the investigation, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Thursday recreated the crime scene where Atiq and his brother Ashraf were shot dead while in the custody of the cops.
In addition, the Judicial committee constituted by the Uttar Pradesh government also paid a visit to Prayagraj to understand the sequence of events leading to the murder of the duo. The policemen who were escorting both gangsters during the shootout were also called to the spot. Speaking to the media, the police said that recreating the crime scene is likely to provide vital clues in the ongoing probe and the accused can be further interrogated based on that.
STF team detains shooter Lavlesh's friends
Meanwhile, the STF team also detained three friends of Lavlesh Tiwari, the main accused in the sensational killing, from Banda railway station on Thursday. According to reports, the three detainees trained Tiwari to behave like real journalists before they joined a group of media persons at the hospital where the gangsters were shot dead. Three men, who work for a local news website, showed the ropes of reporting to Tiwari and helped him buy a camera, the police said.
Search underway to nab Shaista
Further, the search for Atiq's wife, Shaista Parveen continued on Thursday also as the police conducted raids at several places. The UP Police has also announced a reward amont of Rs 50,000 on the gangster's wife. Earlier this month, Shaista had submitted a bail application in the court and stated that she had been falsely implicated in the Umesh Pal Murder case.
Five police personnel suspended
The sensational killings have also led to the suspension of at least five police personnel who were escorting Atiq and Ashraf to the Colvin Hospital in Prayagraj. According to reports, the suspended police officers include Station House Officer (SHO) Ashwani Kumar Singh from the Shahganj Police Station. The other four officials include two Inspectors as well as two constables.
Political 'war of words'
Meanwhile, the political "war of words" has also erupted over the slain gangster Atiq Ahmed. On Thursday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came down heavily on Congress after it released 40-star campaigners, including the name of Rajya Sabha member Imran Pratapgarhi. The BJP claimed that Pratapgarhi, a poet-turned-politician, is a close friend of Atiq Ahmad and used to call the slain gangster as his "guru" and brother. Union Minister BJP's Karnataka Election Management Committee Convener Shobha Karandlaje alleged that Pratapgarhi used to write poetry in praise of Atiq, who used to take part in his 'mushaira'.
However, Congress has defended the party's move to appoint Pratapgarhi as a star campaigner for the upcoming Karnataka polls. "Imran Pratapgarhi is the chairman of our party's minority cell and he will be coming. What is wrong with that? We are not calling the person who has committed a crime or is behind the bars," Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh told the media.
It should be mentioned here that Mafia-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf were killed in Prayagraj on Saturday night amid police presence. The incident occurred when they were being escorted by police to a medical college in the district. Three men carried out the attack on the gangsters while posing as media persons. They were identified as Lavlesh Tiwari (22) of Banda, Mohit alias Sunny (23) of Hamirpur and Arun Maurya (18) of Kasganj. They all allegedly had criminal backgrounds.
(With inputs from agencies)