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India. Former MP and his brother shot dead during live broadcast

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A former member of the Indian Parliament and his brother were fatally shot while being escorted by police for medical examination. Everything was broadcast live on TV. Atiq Ahmed was sentenced to life in prison in March this year in connection with his abduction. He and his brother were considered influential figures in the criminal environment in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Brothers Atiq and Ashraf Ahmed, believed to be influential figures in the local criminal underworld, were being escorted under police supervision to a medical examination in the city of Prajagradj (also Allahabad) in Uttar Pradesh state in northern India at the time of the attack. They were accompanied by the cameras of Indian television stations.

The recordings show one of the attackers reaching over the shoulders of the police escort and from close proximity shoots Atiq Ahmed, a former Indian MP, in the temple. Then more shots are fired, also reaching the other brother. According to the BBC, the whole thing took “less than a minute”.

Ashraf and Atiq AhmedReuters

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Police have arrested three men suspected of committing the murders. According to media reports quoted by Reuters, the attackers allegedly pretended to be journalists. One of them surrendered to the officers immediately after the shots were fired, and two more were overpowered.

One of the officers and a journalist were injured during the incident.

Former MP, influential figure in the criminal world

Atiq Ahmed won his first election in 1989 and as an independent candidate sat in the state parliament, and repeated this success three more times, the last time as a representative of the regional socialist party (Samajwadi Party). In 2004, as a SP candidate, he was elected to the federal parliament.

Dozens of allegations have been made against the former politician over the past two decades, including kidnapping, murder and extortion cases. In March this year, he was sentenced to life imprisonment along with two other people in connection with the abduction.

Fearing unrest following the killings, the government of Uttar Pradesh imposed a statewide ban on gatherings of more than four people. “The state government imposed restrictive bans after the murder of Atiq and Ashraf Ahmed, who were members of a larger mafia involved in land grabbing and murder,” an official said.

Atiq Ahmed’s son was shot dead last week during a police intervention in the city of Jhansi, the agency recalled. He was wanted in connection with a homicide, and the case was in turn part of a wider operation to fight the land mafia in the state.

Main photo source: Reuters

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