Umesh Pal kidnapping case: Gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed jailed for life
A court in Prayagraj on Tuesday found gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and two others guilty and sentenced them to life imprisonment in the 2006 kidnapping case of Umesh Pal, a witness in Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Raju Pal's murder. To recall, Umesh was killed outside his Prayagraj residence on February 24. Earlier, the Supreme Court rejected Ahmed's request for protection from death threats.
Why does this story matter?
- The 60-year-old mafia don was allegedly involved in the killing of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) lawmaker Raju, who was shot dead in 2005.
- In 2006, Ahmed and his aides abducted Umesh, a prime witness in Raju's murder case.
- Umesh then registered a complaint against Ahmed over his abduction, which was ongoing.
- Now, Ahmed has also become an accused in Umesh's murder case.
Trio convicted under IPC Section 364A
The court convicted Ahmed, Saulat Hanif, and Dinesh Pasi under Section 364A (kidnapping or abduction in order to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The court also directed each of them to pay Rs. 1 lakh compensation to the victim Umesh's family. Meanwhile, seven other accused, including Ahmed's brother Khalid Azim, have been acquitted.
Victim's mother, wife demand death penalty for Ahmed
After Ahmed's conviction, Umesh's mother, Shanti Devi, said the murderers should be sentenced to death. "It has been 18 years since my son was kidnapped. He was a fighter... Ahmed should be given a death sentence for the murder of my son," she told NDTV. Moreover, Jaya Devi, Umesh's wife, urged Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to ensure that Ahmed is awarded the death penalty.
Gangster was brought to Prayagraj from Ahmedabad
Ahmed, who has as many as 100 cases registered against him, had been lodged in Gujarat's Sabarmati Jail since 2019. However, he was brought to Prayagraj on Monday under the heavy security of a 45-member team of the Uttar Pradesh Police. He was kept in isolation at the Naini Central Jail in a high-security barrack and is now being taken back to Ahmedabad.
Ahmed is 5-time legislator from UP
Ahmed, a five-time MLA from UP, first contested elections in 1989 as an independent candidate. He later joined the Samajwadi Party and was elected as an MP from Phulpur in 2004, the seat once held by former PM Jawaharlal Nehru. The gangster-turned-poltician contested the Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi in 2019 against PM Narendra Modi from prison and lost.