New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh’s mafia politician Atiq Ahmed was convicted for the first time Tuesday in a criminal career spanning 44 years and 130 cases, and handed a life term for the 2006 abduction of now-deceased, Umesh Pal.
Two of Ahmed’s aides, Dinesh Pasi and Khan Saulat Hanif, were also convicted of the kidnapping and handed a similar sentence by the Prayagraj MP-MLA Court.
Umesh Pal kidnapping case | Prayagraj MP-MLA Court sentences mafia-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed to life imprisonment; also imposes a fine of Rs 5,000 on him.
The Court convicted Atiq Ahmed, Dinesh Pasi and Khan Saulat Hanif in the case. All the other seven accused, including… pic.twitter.com/ba1rVlG6n9
— ANI (@ANI) March 28, 2023
Umesh Pal was one of the witnesses in the daylight murder of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Raju Pal in 2005, of which Atiq is an accused.
Pal was shot dead along with his two security men on 24 February in Prayagraj, prompting the latest murder case to be registered against the gangster.
Ahmed, a five-time MLA and once MP, abducted Umesh in 2006 to pressure him from speaking against him in the Raju Pal murder trial, according to his wife Jaya.
While filing the case against Ahmed in 2007, Umesh Pal had alleged that he was kidnapped and harassed by his goons.
According to friend Rajpal Yadav, Pal was let off after then Handia MLA Mahesh Narayan Singh intervened, but he still lodged an FIR against Ahmed and his aides in 2007.
Umesh Pal later turned hostile in the Raju Pal murder case – a shift Jaya said was due to pressure from Ahmed.
After Umesh’s murder in February, a complaint was filed by his family and the Prayagraj police lodged an FIR against Atiq Ahmed, his wife Shaista Parveen, his son (later identified as Asad Ahmed), his younger brother Khalid Azim alias Ashraf, aides Guddu Muslim, Ghulam and others in connection with the case.
Ahmed has been in prison since 2016, initially in Uttar Pradesh, and then in Gujarat’s Sabarmati Jail three years ago.
The former Phulpur MP – he was with the Samajwadi Party when elected in 2004 — was shifted to Sabarmati in June 2019 following a Supreme Court order over his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and assault of a businessman, Mohit Jaiswal, while he was in the Deoria Jail.
Ahmed, 62, was brought from Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati Jail to Prayagraj’s Naini Jail on Monday after an over 24-hour drive.
Ahmed has a total of 100 cases against him between 1979 and 2023 in Prayagraj district alone, according to UP Police records accessed by ThePrint. There are 130 cases over all.
Before Tuesday, Ahmed had not faced a single conviction in 44 years despite cases of murder, attempted murder, extortion, assault, criminal intimidation, three charges under the National Security Act, and multiple cases under the Gangsters Act and Goonda Act.
After Atiq’s conviction, Uttar Pradesh’s BJP Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak said the state government was “eradicating criminals by running a drive and that courts had been requested to give every criminal stringent punishment”.
Also read: Cash, illegal weapons recovered from Atiq Khan’s office in Prayagraj