Sanjeev Maheshwari alias Jeeva, a close aide of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari , was shot dead inside a Lucknow court on Wednesday by a man dressed as a lawyer, The Indian Express reported, citing the police.

The assailant, identified as Vijay Yadav, has been arrested. A minor girl and two police head constables were injured in the firing but they are now in stable condition.

The incident took place two days after Ansari, a former MLA, was sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case registered nearly 32 years ago. Ansari had already been serving time in prison since when he was convicted.

On Wednesday, the police had brought Maheshwari from the Lucknow district jail for a hearing at the court, said Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Upendra Agarwal.

Around 3.30 pm, as Maheshwari was about to enter the courtroom, the assailant opened fire, the police said. Maheshwari tried to run inside the courtroom but fell on the ground, reported The Indian Express.

The lawyers at the spot got hold of Yadav who was then beaten up before being handed over to the police. Yadav, who is now undergoing treatment at a hospital, has two cases filed against him, including a case of kidnapping a minor. He was out on bail.

Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said: “Things will get clearer after questioning him [the accused].”

Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said he did not have information about the incident, adding that the police will take action against those involved in the murder, reported the Hindustan Times.

Chief Minister Adityanath has formed a three-member Special Investigation Team to probe the killing, reported The Economic Times. The SIT has been asked to complete the investigation within a week and to look into the security lapses inside the court premises.

The incident took place about two months after gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf were shot dead in presence of police officials as they were being taken for a medical check up to a hospital in Prayagraj. In this case, the assailants had disguised themselves as journalists and shot Ahmed and Ashraf while they were talking to reporters.