In northern India, a former politician was shot dead during a live broadcast on television. The former parliamentarian, Atiq Ahmed, himself a suspect in a murder case, was escorted to a medical check-up by the police in the city of Prayagraj along with his brother. Ahmed, a well-known name in the criminal environment, was already convicted of kidnapping in 2019 and was now suspected of murder and assault.
Images show that Ahmed and his brother are handcuffed to the hospital, surrounded by officers. They are busy talking to journalists, who are broadcasting the interview live. Then someone can be seen drawing a gun and shooting Ahmed in the head at close range, after which he discharges his weapon on the motionless body. Ahmed’s brother is also fatally hit in the head.
Three men have been arrested in connection with the murder. They allegedly posed as journalists to get close to the brothers and did not resist their arrest. “They were able to get to Atiq and his brother under the guise of recording a conversation and then opened fire at close range,” said a local police officer. “It happened in seconds.”
Criticism of party Modi
Footage of the attack and the arrest of the gunman shows the cry of “Jai Shri Ram” (“Glory to Lord Rama”). This cry is often used by Hindu nationalists and in recent years has developed into a rallying cry of militant Hindus.
Prayagraj is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which is ruled by the Hindu nationalist BJP. The opposition strongly criticizes Prime Minister Modi’s party and wonders aloud how it is possible that someone surrounded by police officers is shot at close range. Moreover, Ahmed had already warned several times that he was under serious threat.
“This creates an atmosphere of fear and it seems that there are people who deliberately create such an atmosphere,” opposition politician Akhilesh Yadav refers to the BJP. He also blames the ruling Hindu nationalists for the high crime rates in the state.
Son also shot
Ahmed’s son, who was also involved in a murder case, was killed last week in an exchange of gunfire with the police. The last words of the 60-year-old former politician were about his son’s funeral. Journalists asked him if he had attended his funeral. “They didn’t take us there, so we haven’t been there,” Ahmed responded, after which he was shot himself.
- Under Modi, more and more Indians are concerned about democracy
- Rahul Gandhi, Congress Party leader, expelled from parliament
- Killed in violence between Hindus and Muslims in India