Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) officials began bulldozing the house of a criminal allegedly linked to gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed on Friday amid heavy police deployment, the third such demolition in three days. Ahmed has been booked by the UP police in connection with the killing of Umesh Pal, who is a key witness in the murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal and his security guards last week.
Officials arrived at the house of Mashookuddin, said to be closely associated with Atiq Ahmed and has dozens of cases registered against him, in Puramufti area on Friday afternoon with bulldozers and other heavy-duty earth movers and began pulling down the structure, as it was built illegally, they said. Officials cited the same reason for demolishing the houses of his other two aides.
The attack on Pal was caught on the CCTV cameras present around the crime location. Earlier, a photograph of Pal's killing accused, Sadaqat Khan with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav was shared by BJP leaders on Twitter following the opposition's sharp questions regarding security in BJP rule Uttar Pradesh.
Khan, 27 was arrested for his alleged role in the planning and murder of Pal on Friday. The incident has shaken and exposed the BJP-Yogi claims of freeing Uttar Pradesh of crimes and criminals. Against the backdrop of the lawlessness of the incident, the opposition has also questioned the government's assertions of turning the state into 'Ramrajya'.
In fact, following the incident, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had vowed in the assembly that his government would destroy the mafia in the state.
On Thursday, a two-storey building in Dhoomanganj area owned by Safdar Ali, an alleged arms trader linked to Atiq Ahmed, was demolished. A day before that, the house of Zafar Ahmed, another alleged aide of Atiq Ahmed, was demolished in the city. Arbaaz, an accused in the Umesh Pal murder case, was killed in an encounter with police on Monday.
A case was registered against Atiq Ahmed, his brother Ashraf, wife Shaista Parveen, two sons, aides Guddu Muslim and Gulam and nine others on the basis of a complaint lodged by Umesh Pal’s wife Jaya Pal. On Wednesday, Atiq Ahmed, 61, moved the Supreme Court for protection claiming that he and his family have been falsely “roped in” the case and he may be killed in a fake encounter by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
Demolition of property belonging to close aid of Atiq Ahmed! Earlier today Atiq Ahmed pleaded in the courts that he be kept in Sabarmati jail & not be shifted to UP jail. Such is the fear @yogiadiyanath ji instills in the minds of lawbreakers. Walking the talk 👌 pic.twitter.com/F2whqw9XS2— KhushbuSundar (@khushsundar) March 1, 2023
In his plea filed in the apex court, 61-year-old Ahmed has sought directions to the Centre, state of Uttar Pradesh and others to protect his life against the "open, direct and immediate threat" to his life from high state functionaries of Uttar Pradesh.
(With PTI inputs)