Indian Politician Convicted of Kidnapping Shot Dead on Live TV
Former Indian politician Atiq Ahmed, who had been convicted of kidnapping, was shot dead along with his brother on live TV while under police escort in Prayagraj (also known as Allahabad) on Saturday night. Ahmed and his brother Ashraf were handcuffed and on their way to a medical check-up at a hospital when three men, who had posed as journalists, shot them both. The assailants arrived on motorcycles, and after the incident, they quickly surrendered and were taken into custody. A policeman and a journalist were also injured in the attack.
Ahmed had claimed that his life was under threat from the police before the incident. Just days before, Ahmed’s teenage son, Asad, had been shot dead by the police in what was described as a shoot-out. Ahmed and his brother had been in police custody and were brought to Prayagraj, where Ahmed was facing murder and assault charges. He had been jailed in 2019 after being convicted of kidnapping.
The incident has sparked outrage and led to calls for an investigation. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered a judicial probe into the killings and banned large gatherings in the districts of Uttar Pradesh. Opposition parties have criticized the incident as a security lapse, with some accusing the state’s government of allowing extra-judicial killings.
The killings come amid concerns about criminal politicians in India. Ahmed was a former MP and had been arrested in April in connection with the murder of Umesh Pal, a key witness in the 2005 murder of Raju Pal, a lawmaker belonging to the regional Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). More than 180 people facing various charges have been killed by police in the state in the past six years, according to reports.
The incident highlights the ongoing issue of extrajudicial killings and police brutality in India, with rights activists accusing the police of carrying out such killings, which the state’s government denies. The incident has also raised questions about the safety of politicians, their families, and the general public in India.
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