Gangster-turned-politician shot dead on live TV by gunmen ‘journalists’

A politician was shot dead on live TV alongside his brother in a dramatic attack seen by millions.

The gangster turned politician, Atiq Ahmad and his brother, Ashraf Ahmad, were being escorted by police to a hospital in India for a medical check up on Saturday night (April 15).

On the journey, three men posing as journalists targeted the two brothers from close range in Prayagraj City in Uttar Pradesh state.

READ MORE: Chilling footage shows police shooting innocent man dead after knocking on wrong door

The attack was filmed and both men were approached by camera crews and police believe the gunmen who killed the pair had been masquerading as journalists, reports the Mirror.

The men quickly surrendered to the police after the shooting, with at 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.

Uttar Pradesh is governed by India’s ruling Hindu-nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party.

Police officer Ramit Sharma said: "They managed to reach close to Atiq and his brother on the pretext of recording a byte and fired at them from close range. 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.

Dozens of cases, including kidnapping, murder and extortion, were registered against Atiq Ahmed over the past two decades.

The 60-year-old was jailed in 2019 after he was convicted of kidnapping and a local court sentenced him and two others to life in jail in March this year.

In 2004, he won a seat in the federal election as an SP candidate and became an MP, despite cases continuing to be filed against him.

In the footage, shared widely on social media and TV channels, Ahmed is asked whether he attended his son's funeral.

His last words to the camera are: "They did not take us, so we did not go."

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.

Uttar Pradesh is governed by the Hindu-nationalist BJP, and opposition parties criticised the killings as a security lapse.

"Crime has reached its peak in UP and the morale of the criminals is high," Akhilesh Yadav, chief of the opposition Samajwadi Party, tweeted in Hindi.

"When someone can be killed in firing openly amidst the security cordon of the police, then what about the safety of the general public. Due to this, an atmosphere of fear is being created among the public, it seems that some people are deliberately creating such an atmosphere," he added.

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