History of Atiq’s killers: From everyday crime to making a ‘name for ourselves’

Police said the three assailants had joined the group of reporters who were trying to get sound bites from the two gangsters.

Lucknow: A “drug addict” whose brothers are now priests, a child who ran from home. This is how two of the three men who killed gangster-politician Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf are remembered by their neighbours and families.

The young men told police they carried out the audacious attack Saturday, while the brothers were being escorted by police for a medical check-up, because they wanted to make a name for themselves in the world of crime.

The alleged assailants, Lavlesh Tiwari (22) of Banda, Mohit alias Sunny (23) of Hamirpur and Arun Maurya (18) of Kasganj, were arrested by policemen accompanying the Ahmad brothers.

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Lavlesh Tiwari

Tiwari was injured in the cross-fire, which also hurt a policeman. The assailants posed a TV crew and fired at almost point-blank range.

A Banda resident, who did not want to be named, told media persons that Tiwari’s family was unlike the rogue son, whom he also described as a “drug addict”.

“His family has been our neighbour. The family is simple. Two of his brothers are priests while one is still studying. Lavlesh has been into crime and has been to jail several times. He has also gone to jail in an eve-teasing case earlier,” he said.

“He had ambitions to earn a big name in the world of crime,” the neighbour claimed.

Mohit alias Sunny

In Hamirpur, Sunny’s brother Pintu said he had no idea how he got into crime.

“My brother used to do nothing, and roam here and there. He has some cases registered against him, but I don’t know the details,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“We were three brothers, out of which one has died earlier. I don’t know how Sunny got into crime. He ran away from home many years ago. I have no clue about what happened yesterday,” he said.

A neighbour said Sunny has not been living in the area for about 10 years.

“He was a resident of Kurara, and was normal when he was young. He went to jail after a brawl, after which his mentality changed and he entered the world of crime. After a few incidents, he left Kurara. He was in Hamirpur jail for about a year,” he said.

Kurara SHO Pavan Kumar Patel told PTI that Sunny has a line-up of 14 cases against him, including attempt to murder and robbery, as well as crimes under the narcotics law and the Arms Act.

The first case was registered in 2016, the most recent before the Prayagraj shootout in 2016.

Arun Maurya

In Kasganj, the neighbours of Arun Maurya expressed shock over the incident.

The alleged shooter’s parents are dead. Two of his brothers are in the scrap business in Delhi, they told reporters.

They also claimed that no one in the village knew what Maurya did and where he lived. He too appeared to have left the village about a decade ago.

Police have charged the three men for murder and attempt to murder, as well as under the Arms Act. At least two firearms were recovered from the site of the shooting.

According to the FIR, the accused told police they wanted to make a name for themselves and establish their identity by eliminating Atiq Ahmad’s gang.

They said they couldn’t make their escape because of the swift police action, according to the FIR.

“Since the time we got to know about the police custody of Atiq and Ashraf, we were planning to murder them. So we posed as journalists and when we got the right opportunity, we pulled the trigger and implemented the plan,” one of the accused told police.

Police said the three assailants had joined the group of reporters who were trying to get sound bites from the two gangsters. The men suddenly dropped their camera and whipped out the arms, they said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Siasat staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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