Published By: Sanstuti Nath
Last Updated: April 16, 2023, 11:06 IST
Criminals should be given the harshest punishment but it should be according to the law of the land and playing with the rule of law for any political purpose is not right for democracy, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Sunday, a day after gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf were shot dead in Uttar Pradesh.
Ahmad (60) and his brother Ashraf were shot dead at point-blank range by three men posing as journalists in the middle of a media interaction on Saturday night while police personnel were escorting them to a medical college in Prayagraj for a checkup.
Without taking names, in a tweet in Hindi, Priyanka Gandhi said the law of the country is written in the Constitution and this law is paramount.
“Criminals should be given the harshest punishment, but it should be according to the law of the land. Playing with or violating the rule of law and the judicial process for any political purpose is not right for our democracy,” the Congress general secretary said.
“Whoever does this, or gives protection to those who indulge in such an act, should also be held responsible and the law should be strictly enforced on that person,” Priyanka Gandhi said.
It should be the endeavour of all of us that the justice system and the rule of law should be supreme in the country, she added.
Ahmed and Ashraf, both jailed in Prayagraj, were in handcuffs when they were killed in full view of camera crews around 10 pm.
The horrifying visuals were circulated widely on social media platforms and television channels. The last rites of Ahmad’s son Asad, who was gunned down in a police encounter in Jhansi on April 13, were performed in Prayagraj just hours before the shooting.
Briefing reporters about the incident, Commissioner of Police, Prayagraj, Ramit Sharma said the three assailants, who were arrested immediately after the incident, had joined the group of media persons who were trying to get sound bites from Ahmad and Ashraf.
“In accordance with a mandatory legal requirement, Atiq Ahmad and Ashraf were brought to the hospital for a medical examination. According to preliminary information, three men posing as journalists approached them and opened fire. Ahmad and Ashraf were killed in the attack. The attackers have been held and are being questioned,” Sharma said.
Video footage showed a man thrusting a gun at Ahmad’s head as he talked to reporters and the former Samajwadi Party (SP) MP collapsing. The footage also showed the three assailants firing at the brothers even after they had fallen.
The bullet-riddled bodies of Ahmad and Ashraf were taken away from the spot as tension gripped the area after the sensational killings.
Read all the Latest Politics News here
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)