A special CBI court on Thursday framed charges against politician Atiq Ahmad and other accused for the murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal in 2005.
The court has fixed November 3 for recording evidence of prosecution witnesses.
Ahmad was brought from Sabarmati jail, Gujarat, under high security and produced in the court of special CBI judge Kavita Mishra.
Talking to reporters from inside the van in which he was brought, Ahmad praised Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath calling him
"Yogi Adityanath is a very brave CM and is honest," Ahmad said from inside the van at the court.
The state government has targeted Ahmad and has launched a crackdown on his illegal properties, several of them were attached and demolished also.
The other accused, Ashraf and Farhan, were brought to the court from Lucknow district jail.
Four other accused – Ranjit Pal, Aabid, Israr Ahmed, and Junaid – who is on bail, were also present in the court.
The court framed charges against Ahmad and the others for murder, conspiracy, and attempted murder.
All accused denied charges and pleaded not guilty.
Raju Pal, BSP MLA from Allahabad West, was shot dead on January 25, 2005, in broad daylight.
In the incident, two others, Devi Pal and Sandeep Yadav were also killed, and two more were seriously injured.
The incident was reported at Dhoomanganj Police Station in Prayagraj by Pooja Pal, Raju Pal’s wife.
The investigation was initially conducted by police and CBCID but was later taken over by the CBI on January 22, 2016, at the Supreme Court’s order.
The CBI submitted a charge sheet against Ahmad and the other accused on August 20, 2019.