Umesh Pal, the prime witness in the 2005 BSP MLA Raju Pal murder case, was shot dead at his residence in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj on February 24. Gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his son Asad, both dead now, were accused in the Umesh Pal death case. India Today has now accessed CCTV footage that shows Asad Ahmed, Guddu Muslim, and a few other accused visiting Bareilly Jail, just days before Umesh Pal was shot dead.
On February 11, Asad Ahmed, Guddu Muslim, Usman alias Vijay, Ghulam, and Sadaqat had gone to meet Ashraf, who was lodged in the jail. A screengrab from the CCTV footage shows Asad, who was wearing dark glasses, at the entry gate of the jail, and Guddu Muslim, attired in a white shirt.
Ashraf, Asad and other shooters then hatched the plan to murder Umesh Pal, according to sources.
Atiq Ahmed wanted to get Umesh Pal killed during G20 Summit, but some of the shooters did not agree, and the plan failed, sources added.
As per sources, ‘Plan B’ was to kill Umesh Pall outside Prayagraj court, but this too failed. The third plan was to shoot Umesh Pal at a roundabout in Prayagraj. This plan also did not succeed.
After failure of three plans, the shooters then decided to kill Umesh Pal some distance away from his residence. They executed the same on February 24.
Atiq Ahmed wanted to spread fear and terror across Uttar Pradesh through the murder of Umesh Pal, sources said.
IN BRIEF: WHAT HAPPENED SO FAR
- On February 24, Umesh Pal was shot dead by an unidentified man while he was getting out of the backseat of a Hyundai Creta SUV in Prayagraj. Umesh Pal was the prime witness in the 2005 BSP MLA Raju Pal murder case. Raju Pal was murdered months after winning the Allahabad (West) assembly seat in his electoral debut by defeating former MP Atiq Ahmed’s younger brother Khalid Azim.
- Umesh Pal’s wife Jaya had filed a case against Atiq Ahmed, his brother Ashraf, wife Shaista Parveen, his two sons, his companions Guddu Muslim and Ghulam Mohammad, and nine others.
- On April 13, Atiq Ahmed’s son Asad along with Ghulam, both wanted in the Umesh Pal murder case, were killed in an encounter by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) in Jhansi. This happened on the day Atiq Ahmed was produced in court in the same murder case.
- On April 15, Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf were shot dead by three assailants while they were being escorted by police to a medical college in Prayagraj.