A team of Prayagraj Police on Sunday took the custody of gangster-turned-politician and former Samajwadi Party MP from Phulpur Atiq Ahmed from Sabarmati central jail in Ahmedabad and is currently enroute to Prayagraj where he will be produced before a court on Tuesday, which will pronounce its verdict in a 2007 kidnapping case.
The team reached Sabarmati jail on Sunday morning and left for Prayagraj with Ahmed, who faces over 100 criminal cases, including the recent Umesh Pal murder case, amid tight security around 6 pm.
A different police team is taking the accused’s brother, Khalid Azim alias Ashraf, to Prayagraj. According to officials, the team left the Bareilly prison at about 10 am.
Prayagraj Police Commissioner Ramit Sharma said that as per rules, all the accused are to be produced before the court on March 28 and then will be sent back to their respective jails. “A team of police was sent to Sabarmati jail for the gangster as he has to be produced in the court on Tuesday,” the official added.
On Monday morning, the police convoy bringing Ahmed reached Uttar Pradesh and stopped at Jhansi police lines, officials stated, adding that the cavalcade will move towards Jalaun and reach Prayagraj via Bundelkhand Expressway in the evening.
The police convoy is being followed by media teams, Ahmed’s sister, and lawyers as Ahmed had on Sunday expressed apprehensions that he might be killed in an encounter on the way to Prayagraj.
“Hatya …Hatya karna chahte hain (They want to murder me),” he told reporters as he stepped out of Sabarmati jail before being taken away in a police vehicle by security personnel .
Atiq was lodged in Sabarmati jail since 2019 following a Supreme Court after he was accused of planning the abduction and assault on a real estate businessman Mohit Jaiswal while in prison in UP.
Earlier in March Ahmed had moved the top court for protection, claiming that he and his family have been falsely “roped in” as accused in the Umesh Pal murder case in Prayagraj and he may be killed in a staged encounter by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
In his plea, Ahmed referred to the statement made by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the floor of the state Assembly to “completely ruin and destroy” him and claimed there is a “genuine and perceptible threat” to his and his family members’ lives.
Ahmed also said the UP police were in all likelihood seeking his transit remand and police remand to move him from Ahmedabad to Prayagraj and he “genuinely fears that he may be eliminated during this transit”.
Ahmed is allegedly involved in the chilling murder of Raju Pal, an MLA from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), who was gunned down in 2005. Umesh Pal, a key witness in this shootout, was shot dead outside his home in Prayagraj on February 24 this year.
Seeking a death sentence for Atiq Ahmed, the victim, Umesh Pal’s wife on Monday said that she will only appeal to the government to eliminate him, otherwise his next target could be anyone, including her.