UTTAR PRADESH: An MP/MLA court in Prayagraj on Tuesday pronounced gangster turned politician Atiq Ahmed guilty in the 2007 kidnapping case of lawyer Umesh Pal.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court dismissed Atiq Ahmed’s request seeking protection during his custody with Uttar Pradesh police in the Umesh Pal murder case. A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi granted Ahmad liberty to approach the Allahabad High Court for protection after he claimed his life is under threat while being in the custody of UP police. It refused to record that the former Samajwadi Party MP’s life is under threat despite vehement requests by Ahmad’s counsel. Since he is in judicial custody, Uttar Pradesh state machinery will take care of his protection in case of threat to his life, the court said.
Seven others, including Atiq Ahmed’s brother Khalid Azim, have been acquitted in the case.
Atiq Ahmed, a five time MLA and an accused in the case, was brought from Gujarat’s Sabarmati Jail to Prayagraj’s Naini jail on Monday after an over 24-hour long drive from Gujarat.
Ahmed’s conviction came a month after the sensational murder of Umesh Pal, a key witness in the 2005 murder case of Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Raju Pal. Umesh Pal was shot dead while he was getting out of the backseat of a Hyundai Creta SUV in Prayagraj on February 24. Two police bodyguards accompanying him were also killed in the shootout.
He is a former MP and MLA who faces at least 100 criminal cases including murder and kidnapping