Atiq Ahmed Murder: UP Cops’ Version Not Water Tight, Here Are Some Unsolved Points
Atiq Ahmed, a gangster-turned-politician, and his brother Ashraf were killed in Prayagraj on Saturday, and Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday established a three-person Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the incident. However, their account of what happened has obvious gaps that raise more questions than they do answers.
Atiq and Ashraf, who were detained for the murder of Umesh Pal in February this year, were shot and killed in Prayagraj late on Saturday night by three men posing as journalists as the siblings were being escorted by police to a hospital. Atiq was brought to Prayagraj for a court appearance a second time in less than two weeks.
According to Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar, the SIT was formed at the direction of the Prayagraj Commissioner of Police, citing a statement made by R.K. Vishwakarma, Director General of Uttar Pradesh Police.
A three-person supervisory team has also been established to guarantee thorough investigation and time-bound action. The additional Prayagraj director general of police serves as the team’s leader. According to the statement, the director of the Lucknow Forensic Science Laboratory and the Prayagraj commissioner of police make up the other two members.
What Difference did this Time make?
Atiq’s security detail was different from what it was when he arrived in Prayagraj for the first time from Sabarmati jail, where he was being held following his indictment in the Umesh Pal kidnapping case.
During his remand, he was transferred from being driven around in a Vajra vehicle while being accompanied by police officers wearing bulletproof vests to being driven around in a police jeep.
It was not the case this time around that the press largely stayed away from him as it had been during his previous visit.
The Unsolved Questions
# Atiq’s medical exam had to be taken so late at night—was that necessary? Why wasn’t he captivated in the daylight, when visibility was much better?
# Why didn’t the 18 to 20 police officers who were in a large group there use their weapons to disarm the attackers?
# Why didn’t the police officers accompanying Atiq and Ashraf to the hospital wear bulletproof vests?
# Why did the three attackers team up for such prominent shootings if there is no evidence to date that they were longtime friends?
# How were Atiq and Ashraf being taken to the hospital known to the three attackers specifically? Was someone from the system able to tip them off?
# What was the true reason for the murders? It is absurd to think that the attackers were motivated by a desire to become well-known in the criminal underworld. Why didn’t they run away, if that was the real reason?
# Where did the attackers get their high-tech weapons from? A total of four, not just one.
# How did the UP Police or Special Task Force (STF) not become aware of the three men following Atiq’s movements for the past two days if they were posing as journalists and doing so? The inability to track reconnaissance points to a serious intelligence breakdown.
# Why did the trio spare the police when they were aiming for Atiq and Ashraf? Was it the knowledge that they wouldn’t face retaliation for their deaths? What provided these attackers with such faith in the men in khaki?
# Without careful planning, a large-scale crime cannot be carried out. Who is the crime boss behind this trio of attackers? Who inspired them and helped them with the logistics?