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Asad and Md. Ghulam killed in an ‘encounter’ enroute to Madhya Pradesh

PoliticsAsad and Md. Ghulam killed in an ‘encounter’ enroute to Madhya Pradesh

Asad Ahmed: Son of ex-MP gangster killed in an ‘encounter’ when Asad and Ghulam were travelling towards Madhya Pradesh on a motorbike.

Asad and Ghulam were travelling towards Madhya Pradesh on a motorbike without a registration plate when members of the police’s special task force intercepted them on a rural road, the police said.. Asad, aged in his 20s, and Ghulam, 35, were travelling towards Madhya Pradesh on a motorbike without a registration plate when members of the police’s special task force (STF) intercepted them on a rural road, the police said.

Uttar Pradesh police on Thursday shot dead Asad Ahmed, third son of former Samajwadi Party MP and alleged gangster Atiq Ahmed, and his associate Mohammad Ghulam in what was stated as an encounter in the Parichha area of Jhansi district, 315km southwest of Lucknow.

Samajwadi president Akhilesh Yadav alleged a “fake encounter” and demanded an investigation into this and previous such killings of alleged criminals by chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s police. “The BJP is against brotherhood,” he tweeted.

Asad and Ghulam were wanted in the February 24 murder of lawyer Umesh Pal — a key witness in a 2005 political assassination case in which Atiq and his brother Ashraf have been in jail as undertrials for the past five years — and his two police guards.

Some media reports cited unnamed sources who claimed that Asad and Ghulam had been apprehended in Delhi on Wednesday before being brought to Jhansi.

In Lucknow, special director-general of police (law and order) Prashant Kumar told reporters: “Our team had been tracking the two criminals for the last few days and finally intercepted them in Jhansi. They fired at the police and were killed in retaliatory firing.”

STF additional director-general Amitabh Yash said: “There was a Rs 5 lakh reward on either of them. They were resourceful and had good places to hide, but the STF was continuously chasing them.”  He said a revolver and a pistol had been recovered.

Atiq, 65, was Samajwadi MP from Phulpur from 2004 to 2009, and a five-time MLA from Allahabad West previously as Independent, Samajwadi or Apna Dal candidate. He and his brother Ashraf were arrested five years ago in connection with the January 2005 murder of Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Raju Pal.

Raju had in a 2004 by-election defeated Ashraf from Allahabad West, after Atiq vacated it to become MP. Umesh was a prosecution witness in the Raju murder case.

Clips of footage from multiple CCTV cameras — purportedly from shops on a street in the Dhumanganj area of Allahabad City — that are circulating on social media show a youth resembling Asad and five others firing at a man who looks like Umesh. Some videos show Umesh fall, get up, run and collapse again.

Atiq was awarded a life term on March 28 this year for kidnapping Umesh on February 28, 2006, and getting him to promise to turn hostile. After being freed by Atiq, Umesh had stuck to his original statement incriminating him.

Atiq and Ashraf were in a court in Allahabad, 420km east of Jhansi, when the 12.30pm encounter took place. The court was packed with independent lawyers, furious with Atiq over the murder of their colleague Umesh.

“As the news of the encounter reached us, many lawyers present there started chanting slogans against Atiq and demanding that he be handed over to them,” a lawyer said. “The court asked the police to take the two brothers away before there was a law-and-order problem. The police quickly took them away while the lawyers threw shoes at Atiq.”

Atiq and Ashraf had been brought from jails in Sabarmati (Gujarat) and Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh), respectively, on Wednesday night to be produced before the court of the Allahabad chief judicial magistrate.

The police had sought their remand to interrogate them in the Umesh murder case and on their alleged links with Pakistani spy agency ISI. The court granted four days’ police remand.

Police sources said Asad had cleared his intermediate exams from a Lucknow school this year. They also said that he had started his life of crime six months ago.

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