Prayagraj MP-MLA Court sentences don-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed to life imprisonment

An MP-MLA court in Prayagraj sentenced gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, Dinesh Pasi and Khan Saulat Hanif to life imprisonment on 28 March in connection with the murder of Umesh Pal.

On 24 February, Umesh Pal, key witness in the 2005 murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal, was gunned down outside his residence in Prayagraj in broad daylight.

Umesh Pal’s mother and wife have sought the death sentence for Ahmed.

Apart from the life sentence, the court also imposed a fine of INR 5,000 on Ahmed. However, the other seven accused, including Ahmed’s brother, Ashraf, have been acquitted.

Ahmed was shifted to Naini central jail in Prayagraj from Sabarmati central jail in Gujarat amid heavy security on Monday evening.

Uttar Pradesh Police had accompanied Ahmed to Prayagraj after acquiring his custody from Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati Jail authorities on Sunday.

An isolated barrack, installation of CCTV cameras, and round-the-clock surveillance with jail guards wearing body-mounted cameras were among some of the security arrangements at the Naini jail ahead of Ahmed’s arrival. 

Ahmed is named in more than 100 criminal cases, including the Umesh Pal case, police said. After Umesh Pal and his two security guards were killed, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had vowed to destroy the mafia.

When he stepped out of the central jail, Ahmed expressed fear for his life while being shifted.

Ahmed’s convoy reportedly hit a cow in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh on Monday morning before entering Jhansi, a police official said.

A video of the incident which occurred at around 6:25 am is said to have been obtained, but the details cannot be confirmed.

The vehicle stopped for a while before resuming the journey.

This article has been updated.