A year to killings of Atiq, Ashraf: Sangam city gears for polls without them but over their names - Hindustan Times
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A year to killings of Atiq, Ashraf: Sangam city gears for polls without them but over their names

ByFarhan Ahmad Siddiqui
Apr 15, 2024 05:20 AM IST

The police have attached properties worth several 100 crores belonging to Atiq, his kin, and associates.

PRAYAGRAJ: Sangam City has moved on a year after the sensational murders of former MP and Mafioso-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad and his brother Khalid Azeem aka Ashraf on April 15, 2023. The denizens had lived under a reign of terror for around four decades and still remember the influence and clout of Atiq, which they had witnessed.

A forensic team is collecting evidence after Atiq Ahmad and Ashraf were shot dead by three assailants. (HT File)
A forensic team is collecting evidence after Atiq Ahmad and Ashraf were shot dead by three assailants. (HT File)

Even as the heat continues against Atiq’s remaining family members and gang members, who are still on the run, including his wife Shaista Parveen, sister Ayesha Noori, Ashraf’s wife Zainab Fatima, and henchmen Guddu Muslim, Mohd Arman, and Mohd Sabir, elections in Prayagraj are set to take place for the first time without the looming shadow of terror.

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The police have attached properties worth several 100 crores belonging to Atiq, his kin, and associates. Moreover, several victims of Atiq’s atrocities have come forward since his death, and new cases are being registered against his sons Ali and Umar, who are currently incarcerated in separate cases in Naini and Lucknow jails.

Atiq ruled the roost unopposed for over four decades, creating a reign of terror not only in Prayagraj but also in adjoining districts. Leading his IS-227 gang, Atiq amassed wealth and properties worth several hundred crores in many cities across Uttar Pradesh and other states. Police investigations revealed that Atiq made investments through his associates in diamond mining, dairy, and the hotel industry in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Mumbai.

As per their modus operandi, Atiq and his gang members would threaten farmers and landowners to transfer their properties into their names at a much lower rate than the actual cost. Usually, the properties were purchased under the names of unknown individuals who worked as labourers or domestic help. Two such individuals identified as Hublal and Shyam Saroj have come forward and surrendered the documents of properties purchased in their names by Atiq and his associates in recent years. Shyam Saroj has filed an FIR against three of Atiq’s associates whose names recently emerged during police investigations.

As Atiq’s empire crumbles, his former associates and friends have turned against his family, lodging cases against them. One such case involves a builder named Mohd Muslim, once a trusted associate of Atiq, who filed an FIR against Atiq’s eldest son, Umar, shortly after Atiq’s murder. Several cases of extortion have also been registered against Atiq’s second son, Ali, by his own former associates and gang members.

ACP Varun said that the police had obtained remand for Ali and Umar in connection with the murder case of lawyer Umesh Pal and his two police guards. The two would soon be questioned in jail, after which chargesheets would be filed against them in court.

Meanwhile, the police have announced a reward of Rs. 25,000 for the arrest of Ashraf’s wife, Zainab. Atiq’s wife, Shaista, already carries a reward of Rs. 50,000. However, the police have yet to find any leads regarding their whereabouts. Arman, Sabir, and Guddu Muslim, along with Atiq’s sister, Ayesha Noori, are still at large.

STATUS

ARRESTED: So far, 11 persons have been arrested and are in jail in the Umesh Pal murder case. They are Khan Saulat Hanif, Dr. Ekhlaq, lawyer Vijay Mishra, Arshad Katra, Sadaqat Khan, Rakesh alias Nana, Qais Ahmad, Shahrukh, Mohd Sajar, Niyaz Ahmad, and Mohd Nafees (deceased). Atiq’s two sons, Umar and Ali, are also in jail.

MURDERED: Former MP Atiq Ahmad and his brother Khalid Azeem aka Ashraf

DEAD: Mohd Nafees alias Nafees Biryani, died of a heart attack, while four accused have been killed in police encounters: Mohd Arbaaz, Vijay Chaudhary, Asad, and Ghulam Hasan.”

STILL AT LARGE: Guddu Muslim, Armaan, Sabir (each carrying reward of 5 lakh) Shaista Parveen (reward of 50,000) Ayesha Noorie, Zainab Fatima.

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