Gangster-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Khalid Azim alias Ashraf were brought to the Naini Central Jail in Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh from Ahmedabad's jail on Monday evening amid tight security arrangements.
The much-hyped shifting of the gangster duo hogged the limelight for several reasons. One of them is the 'Mitti me miladenge" comment made by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the assembly referring to strict action against Umesh Pal murder accused. Another reason was the alleged encounter of one of accused in the Umesh Pal murder case which came days after CM's statement. UP Police shot dead an alleged shooter of Atiq's gang during an encounter in the Kaundhiyara area of Prayagraj on March 6. The alleged encounter was hailed by BJP leaders, including Shalabh Mani Tripathi.
A section of people on social media apprehended some alike incidents citing March 6 encounter and gangster Vikas Dubey's vehicle overturn on July 10, 2020, subsequently, their traveling from Ahmedabad to Prayagraj drew media attention. Meanwhile, the police cavalcade bringing him from a prison in Gujarat reached the Naini Jail at 5.30 pm.
A large posse of police personnel was posted at the main entrance of the Naini Central Jail and the entry of outsiders into the jail premises was stopped. A battery of journalists thronged the area to cover the event. He has been brought to Prayagraj in compliance with the court's orders, Police Commissioner Ramit Sharma said. Ahmed, a former Samajwadi Party MP from Phulpur, was shifted to the Sabarmati Central Jail in Gujarat in June 2019 following a Supreme Court order after he was accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and assault of real estate businessman Mohit Jaiswal while in prison in Uttar Pradesh.
Atiq's brother Ashraf also brought to Naini Jail
Khalid Azim alias Ashraf was also brought to the Naini Central Jail in Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh Monday evening amid tight security arrangements, hours after his brother Atiq Ahmed was escorted to the prison from Gujarat.
Atiq, his brother to be produced in kidnapping case
Atiq and Ashraf will be produced before a court on Tuesday, when it is likely to pass an order in a 17-year-old kidnapping case in which the former MP is an accused.
Ashraf, lodged in the Bareilly District Jail since July 2020, was brought to the Naini Central Jail Monday evening amid tight security arrangements, officials said.
A police team accompanying him left Bareilly for Prayagraj Monday morning. Atiq Ahmed was brought to the jail in Prayagraj from a prison in Gujarat. The brothers are named in several criminal cases, including the recent Umesh Pal murder case, police said.
Atiq expresses disbelief on UP Police
Earlier, Atiq expressed his lack of trust in the UP Police when he was presented at a CBI court in UP. Therefore, he had requested the court for a CBI team with him during the time of transfer. Thus, a CBI tea will also accompany the UP police team during the transfer of the gangster-turned-politician to Prayagraj. Ahmed had moved the Supreme Court for protection, claiming he and his family have been falsely "roped in" as accused in the Umesh Pal murder case and the Uttar Pradesh police may kill him in a fake encounter.
Over Rs 74 lakh cash, illegal weapons recovered
On March 21, UP Police recovered over Rs 74 lakh cash and illegal weapons from a partially demolished office of Atiq in Chakia area in Prayagraj following the arrest of five persons. Official said the front part of the office had been already demolished by authorities using a bulldozer. A search was carried out at the site amid a heavy police deployment and a huge amount of cash and illegal weapons were found from the former MP's office, officials said.
Briefing reporters at the Police Lines here, Prayagraj Police Commissioner Ramit Sharma said, "Five persons — Niyaz Ahmed, Cash Ahmed, Mohammad Sajak, Mohammad Arshad Khan and Rakesh Kumar — were arrested. From them, five foreign-made guns, five country-made pistols and ammunition have been recovered. Six mobile phones were also recovered from them." He added, "Rs 2.25 lakh was recovered from the five arrested persons.
Subsequently, on the information provided by two of these arrested accused (Cash Mohammad and Rakesh Kumar), Rs 72.37 lakh was recovered from the office of Atiq Ahmed.
In all, Rs 74.62 lakh cash was recovered."
Elaborating on the fresh arrests, Sharma said Niyaz Ahmed was assigned the task of following Umesh Pal, the key witness in the 2005 killing of BSP MLA Raju Pal, and Atiq Ahmed's son Asad had made him speak to the gangster-turned politician and his brother Ashraf over the Internet.
Atiq is the main accused in the 2005 murder case of the then BSP MLA Raju Pal, and was recently booked after Umesh Pal, a key witness in the case, was shot dead in Prayagraj in UP on February 24. Ahmed is named in more than 100 criminal cases, including the recent Umesh Pal murder case, police said. After Umesh Pal, a key witness in the 2005 killing of then BSP MLA Raju Pal, and his two security guards were killed in the brazen shooting.
(With PTI input)