Prayagraj court sentences Atiq Ahmed to life imprisonment in Umesh Pal abduction case

A Prayagraj MP/MP has been arrested in connection with the 2006 kidnapping case of lawyer Umesh Pal, the main witness in the murder of Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Raju Pal. A legislator’s court on Tuesday sentenced gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed to life imprisonment.

The court sentenced former corporators Dinesh Pasi and Khan Soulat Hanif to 14 years in jail under IPC section 364A (kidnapping a person, putting the person in danger of murder), among others.

The accused were convicted under sections 147, 148, 149, 341, 342 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code.

Seven others, including Ahmed’s brother Khalid Azim alias Ashraf, have been acquitted in the case.

Both Atiq and his brother have also been charged with conspiring to kill Umesh Pal. Umesh was kidnapped in 2006 and forced not to give evidence against Atiq and others. The FIR in the case was lodged by Umesh Pal in July 2007.

While the hearing was underway, local lawyers outside the court premises raised slogans against Atiq Ahmed, saying “Trapped Two”.

The lawyers supported Umesh Pal, who was also a lawyer, and demanded the strictest punishment for Atiq Ahmed.

During the hearing of Umesh Pal kidnapping case, there was a scuffle between the advocates of both sides in MP-MLA Prayagraj court.

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Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had withdrawn a petition filed by Atiq Ahmed seeking protection while being shifted from Sabarmati jail in Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh in connection with the Umesh Pal kidnapping case.

A division bench headed by Justice Ajay Rastogi refused to grant security on the ground that the gangster-turned-politician was not inclined to entertain such arguments. The apex court further directed the petitioner to approach the high court for relief.

Umesh Pal was a key witness in the murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal, who was allegedly killed in 2005 on Ahmed’s instructions. The SP leader was the main accused in the murder of Raju Pal in 2005. He was also accused of conspiring to kill Umesh Pal from inside Gujarat’s Sabarmati jail, where he is currently lodged.

Umesh was shot dead in broad daylight outside his residence in Prayagraj’s Sulaim Sarai area on February 24 this year. One of the policemen, identified as Umesh and Sandeep Nishad, was killed, while another security guard Raghvendra Singh was seriously injured in the incident.

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