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'Took Over After Elder Brothers Went to Prison': Who Was Atiq Ahmed's Son Asad?

Asad was shot dead along with Ghulam, another accused in the Umesh Pal murder case.

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Video Producers: Shohini Bose, Aparna Singh

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam

Asad Ahmed – the 21-year-old son of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and the alleged mastermind of the shootout that led to the murder of Umesh Pal, a key witness against Atiq in a murder case – was killed in a police encounter on Thursday, 13 April.

Asad was shot dead along with Ghulam, another accused in the case, by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (UPSTF).

Asad's encounter took place in Jhansi while Atiq was being presented in a Prayagraj court in connection with the same case.

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Who Is Asad Ahmed?

Born and brought up in Lucknow, Asad was the third son of Atiq. As per sources, Asad started assisting his father after two of his elder brothers were imprisoned in different criminal cases.

However, there has been no criminal case against Asad until the Umesh Pal murder case.

On 24 February 2023, Pal was shot dead along with two police security personnel outside his home in Prayagraj's Dhoomanganj. Based on a complaint filed by Pal's wife, a case was filed against Atiq, Asad, Atiq's brother Ashraf, Ghulam, and others. Sources said that Asad planned and executed the shootout.

Umesh Pal, a key witness in the 2005 murder case of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Raju Pal, in which Atiq Ahmed is the prime accused, was allegedly kidnapped by Atiq and his aides in 2007 and forced to give a statement in court in favour of them.

On 28 March, Atiq and two others were found guilty by a Prayagraj court of kidnapping Pal in 2007. Seven others, including Atiq's brother Ashraf, were acquitted.

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The Umesh Pal Murder: Where It All Began

Atiq Ahmed, a former Member of Parliament and five-time MLA in Uttar Pradesh, was accused of orchestrating the murder of BSP leader Raju Pal, who was killed in 2005, shortly after he defeated Atiq's brother Ashraf in a bypoll.

Atiq surrendered to the police in 2008 after political and police pressure, but was released in 2012.

Atiq's political journey began in 1989 when he won the MLA seat from Allahabad West as an independent candidate. He retained his seat in the next two legislative Assembly elections before joining the Samajwadi Party (SP) and winning his fourth term in 1996.

He later became part of the Apna Dal and won the seat for the fifth time in 2002. The next year, he returned to the SP and became MP in 2004 from the Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency.

But being accused of Raju Pal's murder put a dent in his political career. Though he contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on an SP ticket, he lost. Soon after, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav distanced himself from Atiq owing to his criminal background.

Atiq was until recently held in Sabarmati jail for allegedly assaulting faculty members of an agricultural research institute in Prayagraj in 2016.

At present, he is facing over 70 cases of murder, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, and assault – including the recent Umesh Pal murder case.

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Topics:  Encounter   UP Police 

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