Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Umesh Pal murder: Another Atiq Ahmed aide’s house demolished

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Authorities on Thursday bulldozed the house of an aide of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed here amid heavy police presence, the second such action in two days.

Three bulldozers and another heavy-duty machine were deployed to demolish the two-storey building under Dhoomanganj police station area owned by Safdar Ali, an alleged arms trader linked to Atiq Ahmed.

Prayagraj Development Authority officials said the building was built illegally.

The action against Ali, however, comes a day after the house of Zafar Ahmed, another alleged aide of Atiq Ahmed, was demolished in the city.

Officials said a gun seized from the house of Zafar Ahmed on Wednesday was allegedly bought from Ali’s shop.

Just before the demolition began at 1.30 pm, officials removed household items from Ali’s house and kept them on a vacant piece of land and then the bulldozers began to roll down the outer boundary of the residence.

The building was brought down by 4 pm.

Ali, who stood in front of the house, watched the demolition helplessly. “This house is in the name of my son who built it with his own hard-earned money. We were not served any notice by the development authority,” he told reporters.

Denying any links with the gangster-turned-politician, Ali said, “I do not know Atiq Ahmed. I am being targeted by those who have personal animosity with me.”

Atiq Ahmed, who is lodged in a Gujarat prison, has been booked in connection with the killing of Umesh Pal, a key witness in the murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal and his two security personnel last week.

Following the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had vowed in the assembly that his government would destroy the mafia in the state.

Arbaaz, an accused in the Umesh Pal murder case, was killed in an encounter with police on Monday.

On the basis of a complaint lodged by Umesh Pal’s wife Jaya Pal, a case was registered against Atiq Ahmed, his brother Ashraf, wife Shaista Parveen, two sons, aides Guddu Muslim and Gulam and nine others.

On Wednesday, Atiq Ahmed, 61, moved the Supreme Court for protection claiming that he and his family have been falsely “roped in” the case and he may be killed in a fake encounter by the Uttar Pradesh Police.

In his plea, he also referred to Adityanath’s statement in the assembly and claimed there is a “genuine and perceptible threat” to his and his family members’ lives.

He has sought directions to the Centre, the state government and others to protect his life against the “open, direct and immediate threat” from high state functionaries of Uttar Pradesh.

Chief Minister Adityanath has often spoken about the actions taken by his government to improve law and order in the state, including frequent reference to bulldozers to raze illegal property of criminals and the mafia.

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