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After killing of former MP Atiq Ahmed, India grapples with extrajudicial violence Lalrp

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The slaying of a former lawmaker and his brother in police custody in India’s Uttar Pradesh state over the weekend has positioned a highlight on extrajudicial assaults and killings, pushed partly by ethnoreligious divisions fomented on the highest ranges of presidency.

Assassins posing as journalists shot and killed at point-blank vary Atiq Ahmed, 60, a mobster-turned-lawmaker, and his brother Ashraf Ahmed, a former state lawmaker, as they answered questions on stay TV Saturday. Within the footage, three assailants proceed to shoot the boys as they droop to the bottom.

Atiq Ahmed, a former member of India’s Parliament, was in handcuffs, below police escort to a routine medical checkup when his attackers opened fireplace. He’s serving a life sentence after a conviction last month for the 2006 kidnapping of the lawyer Umesh Pal — a witness in a separate homicide case. He was reportedly dealing with hundreds of different costs, together with for alleged homicide and assault, although he had no different convictions. His brother additionally confronted prison costs.

The Ahmeds, members of India’s Muslim minority, had been killed amid a huddle of reporters asking questions. Police moved swiftly to restrain the obvious assailants, together with at the very least one who was chanting “Jai Shri Ram,” or “Hail Lord Ram” — a non secular phrase that has turn into a Hindu nationalist slogan, generally heard in crowds finishing up assaults on Muslims. A police official instructed the Guardian that three suspects had been carrying digicam tools, a microphone with a community emblem and faux press badges.

A former Indian lawmaker convicted of kidnapping, Atiq Ahmed, and his brother had been shot lifeless on April 15. The killing was caught on stay tv. (Video: Reuters)

Three suspects surrendered not lengthy after the taking pictures.

Atiq Ahmed’s son Asad Ahmed had been killed days earlier in a police encounter in Uttar Pradesh. Atiq Ahmed’s ultimate phrases had been a response to a reporter who requested why he wasn’t on the funeral: “They didn’t take us, so we didn’t go.”

Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, has developed a infamous repute for gangland violence in addition to an extended historical past of extrajudicial vigilante violence carried out by native authorities. Beneath the rule of Yogi Adityanath, the state’s right-wing Hindu nationalist chief minister, Uttar Pradesh has seen a surge in such encounters with police.

Whereas his supporters cheered on the chief minister’s supposed powerful method to regulation and order, his opponents accused him of stoking religious tensions and making a local weather of impunity.

Sanjay Prasad, Adityanath’s principal secretary, didn’t reply to a request for touch upon the killings.

Politicians and rights advocates referred to as the slayings an indication of deep underlying issues.

Kapil Sibal, a member of Parliament, said on Twitter that there had been “two murders”: “1) Atiq Ahmed and brother Ashraf 2) Rule of regulation.”

Asaduddin Owaisi, the top of AIMIM, an Indian Muslim political celebration, referred to as for a Supreme Court docket investigation and the removal from service of the cops on the scene.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted that she was “shocked by the brazen anarchy and complete collapse of regulation & order in Uttar Pradesh.”

“It’s shameful that perpetrators are actually taking the regulation in their very own palms, unfazed by the police and media presence,” she mentioned.