In a major development, Gangster-turned-politician Ateeq Ahmed on Tuesday was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Umesh Pal kidnapping case by Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj MP-MLA Court. Ateeq, a five-time MLA of Uttar Pradesh Assembly and a former Lok Sabha MP, was brought from Gujarat's Sabarmati jail to Prayagraj's Naini jail amid tight security on Monday for the case. Umesh Pal was a witness in the BSP MLA Raju Pal’s murder. Umesh Pal, too, was killed last month in an attack allegedly orchestrated by the two. Ateeq Ahmed is also the main accused in the 2005 murder case of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Raju Pal as well as in the killing of the prime witness, Umesh Pal, in the case. Umesh Pal was shot dead in Prayagraj on February 24, 2023. Now, the question arises who is Ateeq Ahmed that has sent shockwaves and kept the security uptight due to his presence in Uttar Pradesh? To know continue reading-

Who is Ateeq Ahmed?

Atiq Ahmed is a former Samajwadi Party leader, reportedly fainted in court after hearing the quantum of his sentence. Along with Atiq Ahmed, Saulat Hanif and Dinesh Pasi have been held guilty under Section 364A (Kidnapping for ransom) — the maximum punishment in which can be death or life sentence — and 120B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy). A fine of Rs 1 lakh has also been imposed by the court on all three accused. The sum will have to be paid to the victim’s family.

Atiq Ahmed and his gang were arrested for killing Umesh Pal on 24th February 2023. Umesh Pal was a five-term MP who served intermittently in the Apna Dal, a party allied with the BJP, and the Samajwadi Party (SP) between 2004 and 2009. He was also accused of participating in several crimes, such as murders and kidnappings. Being the main witness in the Raju Pal murder case, Umesh Pal was under threat from the Atiq Ahmed gang. Mohammad Sajar, an old friend and neighbour of Umesh Pal, became an informant for the Atiq Ahmed gang, making it impossible for Umesh Pal to stay on the lookout for any potential attacks.

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As per reports, Atiq Ahmed has more than 160 criminal complaints filed against his family. Atiq has been named in 100 cases, compared to 52 instances against his brother Ashraf, three cases against his wife Shaista Praveen, and four and one cases each against his kids Ali and Umar Ahmad. Atiq and his family's assets worth Rs 11,684 crore have been seized, and 54 of his cases are currently being heard in various courts. Atiq and his colleagues have lost Rs 1,200 crore annually as a result of the state government's efforts to tighten the noose around the mafia.

Umesh Pal Shot dead

On February 24, Umesh Pal and one of his armed security escorts were shot in broad daylight while they were returning home from court. In the video accessed by Republic, the assailant can be seen chasing Umesh Pal who was trying to get inside his house. The assailant was seen with a gun attacking Umesh and then an altercation broke out between them. Umesh can be seen defending himself as he runs into a room. Later in the video, the security guard of the victim can be seen running, over whom another attacker hurls a bomb, causing a cloud of smoke.

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