Unlicensed pistol, cartridges seized from Atiq lawyer’s house: Police
Three cellphones were also confiscated for the purpose of investigation from the house of Khan Shoulat Hanif, who is lodged in the Naini Central Jail in Prayagraj since March.
The Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday claimed to have recovered an unlicensed pistol and cartridges from the Prayagraj residence of a lawyer of now slain former MP Atiq Ahmed.
Three cellphones were also confiscated for the purpose of investigation from the house of Khan Shoulat Hanif, who is lodged in the Naini Central Jail in Prayagraj since March following his conviction in the kidnapping of Umesh Pal, a witness in the 2005 case of murder of Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Raju Pal, officials said.
Atiq and his younger brother Ashraf were prime accused in the Raju Pal murder case.
Hanif is also an accused in the murder of Umesh Pal, a lawyer, and his two police bodyguards who were gunned down in Prayagraj in February.
On Tuesday, a court granted 12-hour police remand of Hanif in the murder case.
Prayagraj Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Deepak Bhuker said, “We will send the pistol, cartridges and the cellphones to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for examination.”
The police claimed that it came to light during the preliminary probe that the seized .9mm pistol, cartridges and one of the cellphones were given to Hanif by Atiq Ahmed. It would become clear after obtaining the FSL report whether the recovered weapon was used for killing Umesh Pal, they said.
During the preliminary investigation, the police claimed to have found a photograph of Umesh Pal in one of the seized cellphones.
Hanif had also shared a photograph of Umesh Pal on a cellphone of Atiq’s son Asad Ahmed. Asad, an accused in the murder of Umesh Pal, was killed in a police encounter in Jhansi recently.
In the murder case of Umesh and his bodyguards, eight people have been arrested so far while six other accused, including Atiq Ahmed and his younger brother Ashraf, have died.
During the investigation, the police found role of Khan Shoulat in the murder of Umesh Pal and booked him on charges of criminal conspiracy.
Hanif along with two others, including Atiq, was convicted in March in the Umesh Pal kidnapping case.