LUCKNOW—The Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) demolished a palatial house belonging to former MP Atiq Ahmed on Chakia Road in Khuldabad area of the city on Tuesday. The former MP is currently lodged in Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad.
Heavy deployment of police and personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) was done before the demolition of the house began to prevent any resistance from relatives and supporters of the MP.
The officials leading the demolition said that the house was built illegally, without the approval of the PDA. The house is said to be worth Rs. 30 crores that was spread over 3000 square metres, apart from huge open area.
Before demolition of the house, the officials had pulled down the office of the former MP on Sunday.
As a part of the state government’s drive against what it calls the “illegal possession of properties” by the former MP, PDA officer Alok Pandey told mediapersons that four bigha land of the house would be attached by the PDA.
The officials also videographed the entire demolition exercise. According to locals, four JCB machines were pressed into service to bulldoze the house having dozens of rooms.
The households goods were removed by Atiq Ahmed’s wife Sahista Begum , his three sons and labourers while the administration was simultaneously bulldozing his house by using JCBs.
The police are also attaching the properties of relatives and others close to Atiq Ahmed, on the allegations that these were illegal. Sources said that the government has attached properties worth several crores, belonging to close relatives and acquaintances of Atiq Ahmed.
According to police, seven properties belonging to Atiq Ahmed had been attached and the process to attach 20 more properties are on.
As many as 31 criminal cases booked against Atiq Ahmed are pending in MP/MLA and seven in other courts. He is currently lodged in Sabarmati Jail in Ahmedabad.
He was shifted to Ahmedabad on Supreme Court orders, after he was accused of abduction of a Lucknow-based businessman and beating him in Deoria district Jail where he was lodged. The government subsequently suspended entire staff of the Deoria Jail and shifted Atiq to Sabarmati jail.
Meanwhile, the police have also launched a drive to cancel the arms licenses of 59 persons who are said to be close to Atiq Ahmed. Out of these 25 licenses were issued by Dhoomanganj Police Station alone. According to sources, these people had taken the licenses in the name of their relatives against whom there were no criminal cases.
The police had in July this year arrested Atiq Ahmed’s younger brother and ex-MLA Ashraf on allegations of land grabbing, threatening witnesses and possessing illegal arms. As many as 30 cases are reported to be filed against him in different police station in Prayagraj city and district. During a raid to arrest Ashraf in July, his four brother-in-law-Abdul Rehman, Abdul Wahid, Abdul Wasit, Abdul Samad aka Saddam-and four aides Mohd Saquib, Noor Mohammad, Mohd Rizwan and Mohammad Imran were arrested on allegations that they were giving shelter to Ashraf and assisting him escape from police arrest.