In a shocking turn of events, a former Indian lawmaker and his brother were killed in northern India in a dramatic attack that was captured on live television. The incident took place in the city of Prayagraj in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and highlights the growing levels of violence in the region.
Attack Captured on Live Television
Atik Ahmad and his brother Ashraf Ahmad were under police escort on their way to a medical check-up at a hospital when three men, posing as journalists, shot them at close range. The attackers quickly surrendered to police after the attack and at least one of them was heard shouting the slogan Jai Shri Ram, which has become a battle cry for Hindu nationalists in their campaign against Muslims.
The police officer in charge of the case, Ramit Sharma, stated that "They managed to reach close to Atiq and his brother on the pretext of recording a byte and fired at them from close range. Both sustained bullet injuries on the head...
It all happened in seconds."
The attackers were named as Lavlesh Tiwari, Mohit Puraney, and Arun Kumar Maurya. According to police reports, they stated that they had been following the Ahmed brothers for two days and intended to carry out the murders in order to obtain notoriety.
The men are quoted as telling police in the report filed in the case, "We wanted to kill Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf with the aim of completely wiping off the Atiq-Ashraf gang and making a name for ourselves." Police said they were investigating further but did not clarify if they were looking into a sectarian motive for the killing.
Atik Ahmad has been incarcerated since 2019 following his conviction for kidnapping. He previously served as a Member of Parliament in Uttar Pradesh four times and was elected to the Indian Parliament in 2004. Atiq, along with his brother and extended family, were infamous figures in the Uttar Pradesh criminal scene, allegedly operating a crime ring involved in homicide and extortion.
The ex-politician faced over 100 separate charges, including assault and murder. In 2019, he received a life sentence after being found guilty of masterminding a kidnapping while already in prison. His lawyer, Vijay Mishra, expressed shock at the incident and criticized the police for their incompetence in ensuring the safety of his clients. Opposition parties also criticized the killings as a security lapse.
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