Insight Online News
Prayagraj (UP), May 4 : The Prayagraj police have recovered a pistol and some cartridges from the residence of slain gangster-politician Atiq Ahmed’s lawyer Khan Saulat Haneef.
The lawyer has been booked under the Arms Act for the offence.
The court had granted the police a 12-hour custody remand of Saulat Haneef in connection with the Umesh Pal murder case during which the lawyer was interrogated and his residence raided.
Heavy security arrangements were in place at Dhoomanganj police station, where the 61-year-old was interrogated. In the afternoon, he was taken to his house in the Pritam Nagar locality from where the police recovered three phones, a country-made 9 mm pistol and three cartridges.
One of the phones recovered was used to send photographs of Umesh Pal to Asad’s phone four days before Pal was killed outside his residence on February 24 this year, police said.
Asad, one of the sons of Atiq Ahmed, was killed in an exchange of fire with police last month.
The police had reportedly recovered evidence from Asad’s phone that suggested that Haneef had sent him at least 10 photographs of Pal on February 19.
Haneef was booked for Pal’s murder on the basis of this evidence.
A senior police official involved in the investigation, said, “Saulat Haneef’s interrogation provided vital clues to the police which will help the police in collecting concrete evidence against the accused involved in the Umesh Pal murder case.”
The lawyer was also reportedly asked about the various ‘benami’ properties of Atiq in Prayagraj, Lucknow, western UP and in other states. Khan was said to have disclosed the names of some of Atiq’s financiers and business partners.
On March 28, Saulat Haneef was awarded life imprisonment by a court in the Umesh Pal abduction case.
In an FIR lodged in 2007, Umesh Pal alleged that he was abducted and taken hostage at Atiq’s office in Prayagraj’s Chakia locality. Atiq and others allegedly tortured Pal and forced him to withdraw his statement given as a witness in the 2005 BSP MLA Raju Pal murder case.
IANS / AGENCY