Former Indian politician shot dead on live TV in disturbing scenes

A former Indian politician has been shot dead live on television, together with his brother, in a shocking incident in northern India. Atiq Ahmed, who was being escorted by police for a hospital appointment, was speaking to reporters when a gun was pulled by his head in Prayagraj, also known as Allahabad. Both men were handcuffed at the time.

After shots were fired last night, three man posing as journalists rapidly surrendered and were arrested, withat least one of them chanting “Jai Shri Ram” or “Hail Lord Ram,” a slogan that has become a battle cry for Hindu nationalists in their campaign against Muslims.

Ahmed, 60 – who had been convicted of kidnapping offences – previously claimed his life was in danger.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has put together a three-member judicial commission to investigate the killing.

Police from Uttar Pradesh brought Ahmed, who is a former MP, from Sabarmati Central Jail in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad, to Prayagraj on March 26 to face charges in the 2006 Umesh Pal kidnapping case.

Both brothers were arrested arrested earlier this month in connection with the killing of Mr Pal, a key witness in the 2005 murder of Raju Pal, an MP belonging to India’s ruling Hindu-nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party of which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a member, and which also governs Uttar Pradesh.

Police officer Ramit Sharma said of the three men: “Both sustained bullet injuries on the head. It all happened in seconds.”

On Thursday, Atiq Ahmad’s teenage son and another man, who had both been blamed for a recent murder, were killed by police in what was described as a shootout.

Atiq Ahmad, was jailed in 2019 after he was convicted of kidnapping. He was a local politician and was also elected to India’s parliament in 2004.

His lawyer, Vijay Mishra, said the incident was shocking as “it is a clear failure of the police in ensuring the safety” of his clients.

Opposition parties criticised the killings as a security lapse.

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