The Bareilly Police had announced a reward of Rs one lakh on Abdul Sammad alias Saddam, who had gone missing after the gruesome killing of lawyer Umesh Pal in Prayagraj on February 24, 2022.
Atiq Ahmed’s killers had a long connection with crime and in their desire to become “popular”, they executed the killings on April 15 while the gangster-turned-politician and his brother Ashraf were in custody of Uttar Pradesh Police in Prayagraj, sources said on Monday.
Atiq and Ashraf were killed by three assailants, who posed as mediapersons, while the gangsters were being taken for medical checkup in Prayagraj medical college. The killers, identified as Arun Maurya, Sunny Singh and Lavlesh Tiwari, “wanted to become gangsters” and came together to hatch the plot to kill Atiq, sources said.
“Lavlesh Tiwari already used to run his gang with around 50 boys. However, he wanted to become a big criminal, so he carried out the murder of Atiq Ahmed and Ashraf,” a police source said.
The sources said Lavlesh Tiwari was earlier jailed for slapping a girl and numerous cases pertaining to assault, excise, molestation are registered against him.
“He is a drug addict,” the source said.
Sunny Singh is connected to the Bhati gang and he shot Ashraf, police sources said.
According to the police, Sunny Singh has 14 cases registered against him and is a left-handed shooter.
“He used to work in a tea stall earlier. After that he started working as a helper in a truck and eventually joined the world of crime. When he went to jail for a crime, he met Sundar Bhati there. He (Sunny) shot a man named Babu Yadav, because of which he was jailed,” the source said.
Sunny Singh was arrested for the first time in 2016 in a robbery case. He preferred to be called “Purane Thakur”, the sources said.
They said that Arun Maurya was inducted into the world of crime by Sunny Singh.
“Both had met in Panipat. Earlier also two cases were registered against Arun Maurya in Panipat. After their meeting in Panipat, they met Sodhi, a resident of Meerut, who provided them a foreign pistol,” the source said.
The police are now ascertaining if someone else was also involved in the plan to kill Atiq Ahmed and Ashraf. The three youth were arrested by police.
Atiq Ahmed was shot at least eight times with bullet injuries found in his head, neck and chest, according to preliminary results of an autopsy conducted on his body after his sensational murder that was caught on news cameras outside a hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj on April 15.
Sources said on Monday that three bullets pierced the body of Ashraf, the brother of Atiq during the shootout that took place late on Saturday outside the hospital where police had taken them for a routine medical check-up. Both the gangsters collapsed on the spot after they were shot at nearly point-blank range.
According to sources, the initial postmortem report detailed that Atiq was shot eight times and Ashraf five times. “Out of the eight bullets that Atiq was shot, one bullet hit his head, one bullet hit his neck, one bullet each on his chest, stomach and waist,” sources said. The attackers were subsequently caught by police.
Both Atiq and Ashraf were buried on April 16 at the Kasari Masari burial ground in Prayagraj.
According to the initial post-mortem report, Ashraf was shot in his neck, back and waist in which the bullets pierced his body and went past him.
Police are awaiting a detailed report of the autopsy, sources said.
Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a judicial probe into the killings. Uttar Pradesh police authorities have also announced formation of two special investigating teams (SITs) to probe the killings.