Gangster Atiq Ahmed and two others were sentenced to life in prison after a Prayagraj court found them guilty in the 2006 Umesh Pal kidnapping case.
However, seven others have been acquitted in the case, including Atiq Ahmed's brother Khalid Azim alias Ashraf.
On March 28, Uttar Pradesh police took Ahmed, a former MP and MLA facing at least 100 criminal charges including murder and kidnapping, from a Gujarat prison to Prayagraj after a 24-hour road ride.
Today, footage from outside the court showed a long police cavalcade transporting the gangster-turned-politician in big vans as masses gathered on both sides of the road.
Ahmed's conviction came just one month after the shocking death of Umesh Pal, a crucial witness in the 2005 murder of Bahujan Samaj Party Legislator Raju Pal.
On February 24, this year, Umesh Pal was shot dead as he exited the backseat of a Hyundai Creta Vehicle in Prayagraj. Two of his police bodyguards were also killed in the shootout.
Umesh Pal and one of his two police bodyguards were getting out of the Vehicle when multiple shooters appeared from behind him and opened fire. During the assault, another individual was observed deploying rudimentary explosives, which detonated in a cloud of smoke, causing panic and commotion on the road and people fleeing to safety. Numerous people got out of their cars and hurried into stores.
According to the UP police, Atiq Ahmed killed Umesh Pal after the latter implicated him as a main suspect in the 2005 murder. Umesh Pal claimed in 2006 that he was kidnapped at gunpoint after refusing to withdraw his testimony to the police.
The court judgement in the 2006 kidnapping case was issued today in Prayagraj.
After harsh questioning about the public shooting of Umesh Pal, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath lashed out at opposition leader Akhilesh Yadav in the state legislature a day after the February gunfire in Prayagraj, even mentioning his rivalry with his father.
"Isn't it true that Atiq Ahmed, who has been charged by the victim's family, is a member of the mafia fostered by the Samajwadi Party, and we have only worked to break its back?" Yogi Adityanath said, pointing a finger at Yadav.
"He is the godfather of all professional criminals and mafia, sir. They have criminality running through their blood... And I'm telling this house today that we're going to burn this mafia down "wagging his finger at Mr Yadav, the Chief Minister said.
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