Former Indian MP Shot Dead On Live TV

Atiq Ahmed (right) and his brother Ashraf taking questions from journalists moments before their death.


Authorities said gunmen dressed as journalists opened fire on a former Indian member of parliament and his brother as they were being led in handcuffs to a hospital by police.

Atiq Ahmed, 61, who had been in prison since 2019 and had been convicted of kidnapping, was answering reporters’ questions late Saturday when he and his brother Ashraf were shot at close range, according to television images.

“According to preliminary information, three persons posing as journalists approached them and opened fire… The attackers have been held and are being questioned,” police official Prashant Kumar said.

After the brazen attack, the assailants can be seen on TV in the northern city of Prayagraj shouting Hindu slogans.

The two victims were members of India’s Muslim minority, but police did not say whether they were looking into a possible sectarian motive.

The brothers were deeply involved in India’s criminal underworld — the ex-MP was reportedly facing more than 100 different cases — and the attackers were described as petty criminals by press reports.

At the time, the pair were being taken to the hospital for medical examinations and were surrounded by police officers.

According to local media reports, one of the gunmen was carrying a television camera and another a microphone with a television channel logo.

Several days earlier police in the same state of Uttar Pradesh said they had shot dead Ahmed’s 19-year-old son and his accomplice in a shootout. Both were wanted in a case of murder.

Scores of people facing charges have been killed in the state in recent years in similar so-called “police encounters”, which rights groups say are often extra-judicial executions.

Ahmed, who was facing murder and assault charges, claimed last month in a petition to India’s Supreme Court that the police were threatening his life.

Following his shooting, gatherings of more than four people were banned across the 200-million-person northern state ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday.

The shooting infuriated opposition parties, who accused the BJP of ruling through fear.

Hundreds of politicians from all parties are facing criminal charges across India, with poor Uttar Pradesh being a particular hotspot.

According to the Association for Democratic Reforms, this includes nearly half of the state’s government ministers, including the state premier.

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