Uttar Pradesh businessman accuses jailed former MP Atiq Ahmed of abducting, assaulting him in Deoria prison

The Uttar Pradesh government has sought a report from ADG Prison, so as to fix responsibility regarding the lapse in Deoria jail, principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar said

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Lucknow: A Lucknow-based businessman has alleged that he was abducted from this city last week and driven almost 300 km to Deoria jail where inmate gangster Atiq Ahmed and his accomplices assaulted him and forced him to sign away property worth Rs 40 crore.

In his police complaint, the real estate businessman, Mohit Jaiswal, also alleged that Ahmed, a former Samajwadi Party MP, his son Umar and about 15 others forcibly took away his SUV in which he was driven to Deoria.

“The government has sought a report from ADG Prison, so as to fix responsibility regarding the lapse in Deoria jail. Action will be taken accordingly. An FIR has lodged in Krishnanagar police station and out of four named accused, two have been arrested,” Uttar Pradesh’s Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said in a late night statement Sunday.

Ahmed, a history-sheeter with at least 70 cases against him, including the killing of BSP MLA Raju Pal in 2005 in Allahabad, has been lodged in Deoria district jail since March last year after being transferred from Allahabad’s Naini jail.

In his FIR, businessman Mohit Jaiswal has named Ahmed, his son Umar, and accomplices Farooque, Zaki Ahmed, Jafar Ullah, Ghulam Sarvar and 10 to 12 unidentified people in charges, including attempt to murder, at the Krishna Nagar police station in Lucknow, police said.

Jaiswal alleged that he was assaulted by Ahmed and his supporters and forced to sign papers to hand over his property worth Rs 40 crore before he was let off. Circle Officer, Krishna Nagar, Lal Pratap Singh said according to Jaiswal, Ahmed’s henchmen took him to the Deoria jail on 26 December in Jaiswal’s own SUV and assaulted him inside the barrack where the gangster is lodged.

Ahmed has been incarcerated since February 2017 after being booked for allegedly assaulting faculty members of an agriculture institute in Allahabad in 2016. A former SP MP and five-time MLA from Allahabad West, Atiq Ahmed unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha by-poll from Phulpur as an Independent this year.

In 2004, Ahmed was elected to the Lok Sabha as an SP candidate and contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections from Pratapgarh as an Apna Dal candidate, where he lost. He also contested the 2012 Assembly election from Allahabad West under the Apna Dal but lost again. It may be recalled that gangster Munna Bajrangi was shot dead by another inmate, considered to be one of his rivals, in Baghpat jail premises in July this year.

Bajrangi was lodged in Banda jail and was shifted to Baghpat in connection with his appearance in a case in the district court. After Bajrangi’s killing, the state government had set up a high-powered three-member committee under the chairmanship of former DGP Sulkhan Singh to give a report to upgrade the security of all jails across the state.

The committee had the mandate to suggest measure to be taken to curb smuggling of firearms and sharp-edged arms.Gangsters such as Mukhtar Ansari, Brajesh Singh, Sundar Bhati, Anil Dujana, Amit Kasna, Babloo Srivastava and Khan Mubarak have been reportedly running their crime syndicates from inside jails.

A video has emerged purportedly showing inmates of a Raebareli jail having drinks inside the barrack. The video went viral on social media Monday, prompting the Uttar Pradesh government to suspend six officials, including a senior jail superintendent.

Uttar Pradesh jails have been plagued with issues like overcrowding, porous security and the paucity of staff. Even the CCTV camera installed on various premises, metal detectors and other such security checks are usually found non-functional.

Jail authorities in Uttar Pradesh have often come under fire for being allegedly hand in glove with inmates while letting them continue their illegal activities and extortion networks from inside the jails. After the BJP came to power in the state in March last year, over 100 criminals were shifted from one jail to another to neutralise their crime machinery.