Slogans shouted in favour of Atiq Ahmed in Patna, police swing into action

Patna, April 21 (IANS) A group of Muslims on Friday shouted slogans in support of slain gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, his brother Ashraf Ahmed, and son Asad Ahmed here, and termed their killings a conspiracy by the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh.
Following the incident, police swung into action to apprehend the protesters, especially Rais Ghaznavi, who is termed one of the leaders.
A large number of people assembled at the Jama mosque near Patna Junction to offer “Alvida Ka Namaz” on the last day of Ramzan month. After the prayers, a section of them came out on the roads and shouted slogans of “Shaheed Atiq Ahmed Amar Rahe, Ashraf Ahmed Amar Rahe, and Asad Ahmed Amar Rahe”. They have also shouted slogans against the Centre and the UP government.
At the protest, Ghaznavi said: “Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath government is responsible for the murder of Atiq Ahmed, his brother, and son. They have used criminals to murder them in a planned way. The state government, UP police, media and court are involved in the conspiracy.”
Asked whether Atiq Ahmed was a criminal, he said: “There are law and the courts in the country. If the court would give the death penalty to them, we have no objection to it. But the way criminals were used to kill the brothers are objectionable. The court had given the remand to Uttar Pradesh Police and it was their responsibility to provide them security. Three persons came in and they murdered the two in a planned way.”
“We have prayed to Allah to accept the martyrdom of Shaheed Atiq Ahmed and his brother,” he added.
During the protest march, there were policemen deployed around Jama mosque but they did not act then. Now, Patna police are conducting raids at several places to nab him.
Ghaznavi is said to run a leather bag shop near the mosque. When media persons asked about his profession, he said that he just roams the streets. The local Kotwali police reached there for his arrest but he was not present there.
Meanwhile, BJP sharply reacted against the protests and party leader Haribhushan Thakur demanding strong action against the protesters.
“The way people have shouted slogans in favour of slain gangster Atiq Ahmed is not right. These people should be hanged or be killed in encounters,” Thakur said.
“Everyone knows who Atiq Ahmed was. People are creating an atmosphere in Bihar after his murder. Chief Minister should take action in the strongest possible manner. We are saying right from the beginning that people are promoting the PFI model in Bihar. Now, the truth has come out and Nitish Kumar is watching it silently,” he claimed.
BJP OBC Morcha General Secretary and Bihar BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand accused the Grand Alliance government of “giving protection to anti-national and criminal elements”.
“The RJD, JD-U, Congress and Left parties in Bihar are singing marsiyas on the death of criminal Atiq Ahmed. In the capital Patna, if slogans have been raised calling Atiq a martyr, then it is a complete administrative failure of Nitish Kumar. He is giving opportunity to PFI and anti-national elements to flourish in Bihar by keeping the post of Home Minister in his pocket and sitting in the lap of RJD,” Anand alleged.
BJP spokesperson Arvind Kumar Singh questioned the state government over the incident and demanded it take the strongest possible action against them. “Glorifying criminals and terrorists is not right. Insulting the Prime Minister of the country and a Chief Minister of state is not right,” he said.
On the other hand, JD-U spokesman Abhishek Jha said: “The way gangster Atiq Ahmed was killed in police custody was not right. He should have been penalised as per the law. His killing in police custody was illegal but at the same time we are not supporting those who are in favour of Atiq Ahmed. The criminals have no religion or caste. Everyone should have to protest against them in the strongest possible manner.”

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