Atiq-Ashraf murder: Police custody ends, assailants back in jail

As the four-day police custody of three alleged assailants of gangster-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf ended on Sunday, sources in the Special Investigation Team (SIT) said that for now they would not seek the extension of their custody as they will have to first verify the information collected from the three accused during questioning.

Atiq Ahmed and Ashraf were shot dead where on the night of April 15 under the police escort and on live television as they were being brought for a medical examination at Colvin Hospital in Prayagraj. The three alleged assailants – Lavlesh Tiwari (22), Mohit alias Sunny Puraney (23) and Arun Kumar Maurya (18) – were arrested from the murder spot.

“The police remand of the three youths ended today and they will be sent back to the jail… We are verifying information collected from the three accused. The next course of action will be taken only after the information collected from them are verified,” said a senior police official involved in the investigation.

Sources said that three men told SIT investigators that they reached Prayagraj last week and stayed in a hotel room near Khuldabad police station. The three men also told the investigators that they started to keep a watch on Atiq and Ashraf after they came to know that they have been sent to police custody.

“We are collecting details from the hotel and its staff to verify their claim. The three accused have given us more information related to weapons recovered from them. But all these information needed to be verified,” said the police officer.

The three alleged assailants were moved to Pratapgarh district jail from Naini Central Jain following their arrest. While the three were in the SIT custody, they were not taken to the crime spot during recreation of the murder scene by the investigators on April 20.

The three-member SIT team is headed by Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Police, Prayagraj, Satish Chandra. Assistant Commissioner of Police (Kotwali police station) Satyendra Prasad Tiwari and Inspector (Investigation Cell of Crime Branch) Om Prakash are two other members of the team.

A separate three-member team, also constituted by UP Police, will be monitoring the SIT investigation.

Hidden Report: Manish Sahu
Editor: Sudhakar Jagdish