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9 held for giving shelter to accused in 2005 murder case of BSP MLA Raju Pal: UP Police

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Nine people were arrested in this Uttar Pradesh district on Sunday for allegedly giving shelter to an accused in the 2005 murder case of BSP MLA Raju Pal, a senior police official said.

The accused were arrested from Purkhas Yusufpur village, located within the Sarai Akil police station limits, he added.

With these arrests, the number of people nabbed so far in connection with the case has gone up to 19, police said.

A huge cache of arms and ammunition, including eight country-made pistols, was seized from those arrested, they added.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Brijesh Kumar Srivastava said the arrests were made during a search operation to nab Abdul Kavi, who is wanted in the Raju Pal murder case.

“Those arrested are Mohammad Anas, Hameedul Gufran, Daniyal Kareem, Ehsan-ul Kareem, Satish Vishwakarma, Nafees Ahmed, Akhtar Hussain, Ajit Pratap Singh and Nawaz Ashraf,” he said.

Ten others were arrested from Bhakanda village on Friday and Saturday.

Sources said the police action is being seen as a move to tighten the noose around gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed.

Ahmed, a former Samajwadi Party (SP) MP, has been booked in the sensational murder case of Umesh Pal, a key witness in the 2005 murder case of the then Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Raju Pal in Prayagraj.

Five people — Kavi’s brothers-in-law Mohammad Irfan and Liaqat Ali, sisters Shamsunisa and Tabassum, and father-in-law Mohammad Avesh — were arrested on Saturday for allegedly giving refuge to Kavi, police said.

Five others — Nizamuddin, Ajmal, Shahid alias Raju, Mohammad Aslam and Bilal — were arrested on Friday, they added.

On Sunday, a police team from Uttar Pradesh went to the Sabarmati jail in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad, where Ahmed was lodged since 2019 following a Supreme Court order, and brought him to Prayagraj.

Ahmed will be produced before a court on Tuesday, when it is likely to pass an order in a kidnapping case in which the former MP is an accused.

“The court has set March 28 as the date to pass its order in the kidnapping case,” Prayagraj Police Commissioner Ramit Sharma said.

The Supreme Court had, in April 2019, directed that Ahmed be shifted to a high-security prison in Gujarat after the former MP from Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh was accused of orchestrating the abduction of real-estate businessman Mohit Jaiswal from jail.

Ahmed is named as an accused in more than 100 criminal cases, including the Umesh Pal murder case, police said.

He was allegedly involved in the killing of Raju Pal, who was shot dead in 2005. Umesh Pal, a key witness in the former BSP MLA’s murder case, was gunned down outside his Prayagraj residence on February 24.

On a complaint from Umesh Pal’s wife Jaya, a case was lodged at the Dhoomanganj police station in Prayagraj against Ahmed, his brother Ashraf, wife Shaista Parveen, two sons, aides Guddu Muslim and Ghulam, and nine others.

Jaya Pal alleged that her husband was the prime witness in the Raju Pal murder case. Ahmed and his aides allegedly abducted him in 2006 and forced him to give a statement in court in their favour. Umesh Pal had got a police complaint registered in this regard and the case was ongoing.

The FIR also alleged that a conspiracy was hatched by Ahmed, Ashraf and Parveen to kill Umesh Pal and his security guard Sandeep Nishad and the attack on them was carried out by the former MP’s sons and aides.

Two men allegedly linked to Umesh Pal’s killing — Arbaaz and Vijay Chowdhary alias Usman — were killed in police encounters on February 27 and March 6 respectively.

Parveen had written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath last month, demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the killing of Umesh Pal.

Subsequently, senior BSP leader Uma Shankar Singh came out in Parveen’s support and said a cash reward announced by the Uttar Pradesh Police for information on her was an attempt to “divert attention” from its failure to solve the Umesh Pal murder case.

“Shaista Parveen has no links, even remotely, with the murder case,” Singh, the the MLA from Rasra, had said.

He had also claimed that Parveen was all set to become the mayor of Prayagraj and this was the reason behind the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) “fury” towards her.

Singh had said BSP chief Mayawati had made it clear that action would be taken against Parveen if the charges against her were proven.


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