Atiq Ahmed, a former Indian politician who was facing murder and assault charges and was convicted of kidnapping, was shot dead live on TV along with his brother, Ashraf. Ahmed, who was under police escort, had claimed there was a threat to his life from the police. The shooting took place in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, where he was facing charges. Three men who posed as journalists surrendered and were taken into custody after the shooting. A policeman and a journalist were also injured on the scene.
Ahmed’s teenage son, Asad, and another man, wanted in connection with a murder case, were killed by police days earlier. Ahmed had been speaking to journalists on the way to a medical check-up at a nearby hospital when a gun was pulled close to his head. Video footage captured Ahmed’s last words to camera: “They did not take us, so we did not go.” Opposition parties criticized the killings as a security lapse, accusing the police of carrying out extra judicial killings. Rights activists also accused the police of the same, which the state’s government denies.
The incident is the latest in a series of killings that have taken place in Uttar Pradesh, where over 180 people facing various charges have been killed by police in the past six years. The state is governed by the Hindu-nationalist BJP. The killing has sparked outrage and concern for the safety of those in police custody. The incident highlights the ongoing issue of police brutality in India and the need for greater accountability and oversight of law enforcement agencies.