LUCKNOW : It has been exactly 60 days since former parliamentarian Atique Ahmed and his brother Ashraf were shot dead by three “amateur” assailants in Prayagraj on April 15.
Though the three assailants were arrested immediately, the Prayagraj police remain completely clueless about the motive and the mastermind behind the sensational twin murders in police custody.
The double murder was captured on live TV, as it took place when the two brothers were being taken to the Motilal Nehru (Colvin) Divisional Hospital for medical examination.
The three assailants — identified as Lavlesh Tiwari (22) of Banda, Sunny Singh (23) of Hamirpur and Arun Kumar Maurya (18) of Kasganj — were posing as media persons to commit the crime and after the murder, all three of them surrendered themselves.
So far, the UP Police, which claims to have a “zero tolerance policy” towards crime and criminals, has not been able to unravel the mystery behind the killings.
According to police, the assailants claimed that they killed the said brothers to make their name in the crime world but the sequence of events and circumstances hinted towards a larger conspiracy involved behind the incident.
The questions that remain unanswered even after two months, include — Did the three assailants plan the killing single-handedly? Was there any mastermind behind them who hired the three men to execute Atiq and Ashraf? What was the real motive behind the killing? How were the assailants aware of the exact spot where the two brothers would be brought? Why did the cops on duty not open fire on the assailants in retaliation? How did the assailants arrange high-end sophisticated firearms like two Turkish-made Girsan and Jigana semi-automatic pistols? And how did the three assailants, who hail from three different districts, come together to execute the killing?
Police officials investigating the murders are yet to reveal how the three assailants kept in touch with each other before killing Atiq and Ashraf.
As per police investigation, one of the assailants, Sunny, was not even using a mobile phone at the time of the incident. So, it is only obvious to ask how he contacted the other two assailants.
During initial interrogation, one of the assailants, Sunny, claimed that he and his accomplices procured firearms from the Jitendra Gogi gang of Delhi to kill rival gangster Tillu Tajpuria.
He also claimed that the idea of posing as media persons while killing Atiq and Ashraf also came from the Gogi gang, again in the context of killing Tillu Tajpuria.
Sunny further said that he fled with the firearms after Gogi was killed in a shootout at Rohini Court on September 24, 2021.
However, there are many loopholes in the statements of the three assailants.
Following the double murder, a three-member SIT — headed by Prayagraj ADCP, Crime, Satish Chandra — and a three-member supervisory team for the SIT were constituted to investigate the matter.
Besides, a five-member judicial commission — comprising former chief justice of Allahabad HC, Dilip Baba Sahab Bhosle; former chief justice of Jharkhand HC Virendra Singh; retired justice Arvind Kumar Tripathi; retired IPS officer Subesh Kumar; and retired district judge Brajesh Kumar Soni — was also constituted to probe the incident.
A senior police official said that the three assailants have denied the involvement of any other person in the incident. The official, however, added that the probe is still underway and the SIT is not in a hurry to file a charge sheet.
Meanwhile, three shooters involved in the killing of Umesh Pal on February 24 — Guddu Muslim, Sabir and Armaan — are still absconding.
Shooter Vijay Chaudhary a.k.a. Usman was killed in an encounter in Prayagraj on March 6. Asad Ahmed and Ghulam were killed in another encounter with the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force on April 13 in Jhansi.
Atiq’s wife Shaista Parveen, said to be a conspirator in the Umesh Pal murder case, is also absconding. — IANS