Prayagraj's Dhumanganj police have started questioning Atiq Ahmed and his younger brother Ashraf.
Atiq and Ashraf were brought to Dhumanganj police station after 10:30 pm on Thursday night. Here both were interrogated by seating them face to face on sacks. Both were kept at the Dhumanganj police station.
According to sources in the police, during interrogation, Atiq kept pleading repeatedly to be allowed to attend the funeral of his son, Asad, who was killed in an encounter with police in Jhansi on Thursday. Atiq also asked the police officers to show him the picture of his son. However, the police remained completely focused on the interrogation as they have the mafia only on four days’ remand.
In front of 200 questions from the police, Atiq sometimes appeared uncomfortable and sometimes became furious. He refused to answer most of the questions and kept answering only by nodding his head. However, on repeated questioning, he glared at the interrogators several times.
The FIR regarding the murder of Umesh Pal was lodged by his wife Jaya at the Dhumanganj police station on February 24. In the FIR, nine people, including Atiq, his brother Ashraf, Atiq's wife Shaista Parveen, Asad have been named.
The road leading to the Dhumanganj police station where Atiq is lodged was closed with barricading. No one was allowed to go near the police station.
The women of the locality gathered at Atiq Ahmed's house in Chakia. The government has demolished the house. There are ruins. Preparations for Asad's burial have been completed. He will be buried at Kasari-Masari graveyard where there are also the graves of his ancestors.
Advocate Nisar Ahmed reached Dhumanganj police station to meet Atiq and Ashraf. According to the advocate, Atiq is ill and police are not allowing anyone to meet him. He alleged that the chief judicial magistrate court had allowed three advocates to meet Atiq during the custodial remand yet the lawyers were not being allowed to meet him.
In the remand copy given to the court by Prayagraj police, Atiq Ahmed's connection with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba has been revealed. In the remand copy, Atiq is quoted to have stated, “I have relations with Pakistan's ISI and terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba. I have no dearth of weapons.”
“Weapons from Pakistan are dropped on the Punjab border with the help of drones and local connections collect them. It is from this consignment that terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir get weapons. If you take me with you, I can help you recover that money and the arms and ammunition used in the incident,” Atiq reportedly stated.
Demands were made for Atiq, his brother Ashraf, sons- Umar, Ali and two minor sons to join Asad’s funeral. Atiq's elder son Umar is in Lucknow Jail, Ali is in Naini Jail. Two minor sons are in a juvenile home.
In the Umesh Pal murder case, Atiq and Ashraf were sent to 4-day police remand by the CJM court on Thursday. Following the order of the court, both were brought to Dhumanganj police station late at night. The police will interrogate both of them till 5 pm on April 17.
In Fatehpur district adjacent to Prayagraj, the police raided the house of 37 close relatives of Atiq on Thursday night. Police also reached the house of Samajwadi Party leader Haji Rafi and Haji Raza. But no one was found in the house. Action has been taken regarding the purchase and sale of property here.
Kotwali Inspector Amit Kumar Mishra said that the raids were conducted till night. He said screws were being tightened on those having connections with gangster Atiq and his henchmen.