The Prayagraj administration on Wednesday demolished the home of an aide of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed in connection with the killing of a witness in the 2005 murder case of an MLA in Uttar Pradesh, The Times of India reported.
Authorities claimed that Zafar Ahmed’s home, located in the city’s Chakia area, was illegally constructed. Atiq Ahmed’s wife, Shaista Parveen, was reportedly living in the house.
“The house was in violation of set norms and is therefore being demolished,” Prayagraj Development Authority Vice Chairman Arvind Kumar Chauhan said, according to The Economic Times. “Notice was issued to the owner and all the requisite process was followed.”
Umesh Pal, a key witness in the killing of Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Raju Pal in 2005, was shot dead as he got out of the backseat of an SUV in Prayagraj on February 24. One of his police guards also died in the attack, while the other is undergoing treatment.
The police registered a case against Atiq Ahmed, his wife and two sons, his younger brother Khalid Azim alias Ashraf and others.
Atiq Ahmed, a former MP and five-time MLA, is currently in a Gujarat jail in a case related to the assault on faculty members of an agricultural research institute in Prayagraj in 2016, according to The Indian Express.
On Monday, the Uttar Pradesh Police had gunned down the driver of the car used by the assailants to attack Pal.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath had vowed to destroy the mafias after the Opposition Samajwadi Party questioned the law and order situation in the state in the wake of the killings.
While there is no legal provision to destroy the property of anyone accused of an offence, Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state governments have been increasingly dispensing “bulldozer justice” by conducting demolition drives under the guise of removing encroachments. Most of these drives were targeted at properties owned by Muslims.