Mafia-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed was on Tuesday pronounced guilty in the Umesh Pal kidnapping case by a special MP-MLA court in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh which sentenced him to life imprisonment.
According to PTI, while Atiq Ahmed and two of his aides have been convicted in the kidnapping case, Atiq’s brother Khalid Azim alias Ashraf was among seven accused acquitted by the Prayagraj court in the 2007 case, reported news agency PTI.
The two aides found guilty by the court have also been awarded life terms by the court. Atiq was charged under several criminal provisions of the IPC including the Gangster Act and the Arms Act.
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Atiq Ahmed, named in at least 100 criminal cases, was brought to Naini Jail in Prayagraj from the Sabarmati Jail in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad after a 24-hour journey by road. He was shifted to Uttar Pradesh amid tight security arrangements following directions that he be produced before the court today. At Naini Jail, Atiq was kept in a high-security barrack under round-the-clock monitoring.
Former Samajwadi Party leader Atiq and his brother Ashraf are among nine accused in the kidnapping of Umesh Pal, who was killed allegedly by Atiq’s associates last month in Dhoomanganj area of Prayagraj. Umesh Pal was a witness in the 2005 murder case of the then BSP MLA Raju Pal.
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The verdict by the Prayagraj court came after the Supreme Court denied relief to the jailed mafia-turned-politician and advised him to approach the High Court. Atiq had sought protection from the top court citing a threat to life. The court, however, directed him to approach the High Court.
Atiq’s transfer took place under the continuous gaze of the media with journalists following the convoy of policemen all the way from Ahmedabad to Prayagraj. The transfer came following allegations by Atiq and his family who alleged that it was being facilitated in order to get him killed in a fake encounter. Atiq’s family members followed the police convoy all the way from Rajasthan.
“Mujhe inka programme maloom hai…Hatya karna chahte hain (I know their programme…They want to murder me),” Atiq said as he was brought out of the Sabarmati jail to be taken to Uttar Pradesh.