Internet shut, section 144 in place as Prayagraj remains under heavy security cover
Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have been issued in all districts of Uttar Pradesh to prevent any untoward incident
: Heavy police forces were deployed, and internet services remained suspended in Prayagraj on Sunday after gangster-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf were shot dead in full media glare the previous night. Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have been issued in all districts of Uttar Pradesh to prevent any untoward incident.
Soon after the news of the murders broke, the busy Roshanbagh and Chowk markets, which were abuzz with shoppers ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, emptied as people rushed back homes fearing violence on streets.
Police patrolling in the old city areas such as Chakia (where Atiq’s residence is located), Roshanbagh, Rajruppur and Atala was stepped up under the supervision of the district magistrate and the city police chief even as all markets there were shut down. The entire city wore a deserted look as paramilitary and other security personnel guarded all intersections.
At Atiq’s ancestral home, a house-help didn’t break his silence to this reporter’s queries if any relative had arrived there even as he stood there cleaning the dogs’ shelter under the supervision of a few policemen on Sunday morning.
People in the Chakia and Kasarai Masari localities, too, refrained from speaking to any media person. A group of youngsters, seen discussing the events of last night, mostly kept mum when asked about their reaction.
“Sansadji (as Atiq was popularly called by locals) and Ashraf bhai were killed as part of a conspiracy. Police were responsible for his murder,” said one of them, but wished to remain anonymous.
“The news of the attack on Atiq and Ashraf and then of their deaths came as a shock for all residents of Chakia and other areas in the old city. Despite news channels showing their dead bodies and the footage of the assault, people are finding it hard to believe that they were indeed dead,” said a resident of Kasari Masari.
The footage of the murders was widely shared by locals on social media before the administration shut down the internet to stop the spread of any rumour, in the morning.
Briefing reporters about the incident, commissioner of police, Prayagraj, Ramit Sharma had on Saturday said the three assailants, who were arrested immediately after the incident, had joined the group of media persons who were trying to get sound bites from Ahmad and Ashraf.
“In accordance with a mandatory legal requirement, Ahmad and Ashraf were brought to the hospital for a medical examination. According to preliminary information, three men posing as journalists approached them and opened fire. Ahmad and Ashraf were killed in the attack. The attackers have been held and are being questioned,” Sharma said.
Police on Sunday registered a case against the three assailants. SHO of Dhoomanganj police station, Rajesh Kumar Maurya said the case has been registered against Lavlesh Tiwari (a resident of Banda), Mohit alias Sunny (Hamirpur) and Arun Maurya (Kasganj). The case has been registered under sections 302 (punishment for murder), 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC, Arms Act and Criminal Law Amendment Act. Police had also recovered the arms used in the crime from the spot. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has formed a three-member judicial commission to probe the killing of Ahmad and his brother.
Meanwhile, two graves, adjacent to each other, were dug at a graveyard at Kasari Masari on Sunday afternoon. The gravediggers said police had asked them to dig the graves at the same place where Asad was buried a day earlier.
(With inputs from PTI)
BOX Entire state in high alert, CM monitoring situation
Lucknow: Security across the state, including at several religious destinations, has been beefed up in the wake of sensational killings of gangster brothers Atiq Ahmed and Khalid Azim alias Ashraf, in Prayagraj Saturday night. Police were deployed and restrictions were imposed at VVIPs’ residences even as a high alert was sounded in the entire state.
Moreover, police patrolling was increased in the sensitive districts, including Prayagraj, Kanpur, Lucknow, Ayodhya, Varanasi, Bareilly and several districts of west UP. Restrictions under section 144 CrPC remained imposed in Prayagraj and other districts.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday cancelled his official engagements to personally monitor the situation and called up a meeting with senior police officials for the second time in 24 hours. Senior officials of the state police, led by DGP RK Vishwakarma, briefed the chief minister about the situation.
As a security measure, the entry of media persons has been restricted to 5 Kalidas Marg, which houses the CM’s official residence.