It all unfolded on live television. Gangster-turned politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf Ahmed were talking to the media when three assailants opened fire at them on Saturday evening in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj. They fell on the ground as everyone around them ran for cover, hearing bullets.
Atiq and Ashraf were being taken for medical examination on Saturday evening when three shooters, reportedly posing as media persons, shot them dead. The assassins, identified as Sunny Singh, Lavlesh Tiwari and Arun Maurya, were apprehended immediately. The police said they carried out the shootout to get famous by "eliminating Atiq's gang".
Atiq, a former member of Parliament, had face several criminal charges such as murder, extortion and kidnapping. In March, an Uttar Pradesh court sentenced Atiq and two others to life imprisonment in a 2006 kidnapping case of lawyer Umesh Pal.
The video of Atiq's killing was shared widely on social media which showed that the assailants shouted 'Jai Shri Ram ' slogans. The incident has become a hot topic on social media and news channels as activists and opposition leaders question the security lapse as the Atiq and Ashraf were killed in presence of cops.
The video of the assassination was also aired by some news channels. In fact, #AtiqueAhmedDead is still trending on Twitter with around 24.5k tweets. People also headed to Google with search queries related to the gangster and his killing. Several of these search terms were related to the chilling footage of Atiq's assassination.
Here is what people searched on Google about Atiq and his death:
'Atiq Ahmed dead'
The most-searched term related to Atiq Ahmed is 'Atiq Ahmed dead'. The search for this term was the highest on April 16, 11am--almost 24 hours after the assassination. 'Atiq Ahmed shot' and 'Atiq Ahmed shot dead' are the next most-searched terms.
A former Lok Sabha MP and five-time MLA, Atiq was lodged in Gujarat's Sabarmati jail and was brought to Prayagraj on March 26 in connection with the court proceedings of the kidnapping case. He had moved the Supreme Court alleging a threat to his life by the UP Police.
Atiq Ahmed's death video
There was also considerable interest about the video that showed Atiq and his brother being killed. In fact, most searched related queries pertaining to the incident were about the death video. Eight of the top 25 queries were about the visuals.
People on Google searched for terms like: Atiq Ahmed shot video, Atiq Ahmed shoot, Atiq Ahmed dead body, Atiq Ahmed shooting, Atiq Ahmed live murder and Atiq Ahmed death video, Atiq Ahmed full video, Atiq Ahmed shot dead video, Atiq Ahmed shoot video and Atiq Ahmed killing video.
'Atiq Ahmed son encounter'
Some of the break out terms related to Atiq Ahmed were about his son and included terms like 'asad ahmed age', 'atiq ahmed son encounter' and 'asad ahmed encounter'. Atiq's son Asad, accused in a murder case, was killed in an alleged encounter in UP's Jhansi last week.
'Who is Umesh Pal'
Another related query for 'Atiq Ahmed' was 'Who is Umesh Pal'. Umesh was a key witness in the murder of BSP leader Raju Pal in 2005. Raju Pal was allegedly murdered after he defeated Atiq's brother Ashraf in the Allahabad West seat in a 2004 bye-election. Atiq was named the main accused in the case.
An FIR lodged by Umesh Pal in 2007 had alleged that the Atiq and his men kidnapped and tortured him to change his statement in the Raju Pal murder case.
On February 24 this year, Umesh was killed in broad daylight alongside two policemen, allegedly by Asad and his aides. According to reports, 10 people, including Atiq, his wife and son Asad, were named in the FIR filed at Prayagraj's Dhoomanganj Police Station. Six of the 10 people named in the FIR have been killed so far, police has said.
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