Gangster-politician Atiq Ahmed, who was shot dead along with his brother at point-blank range, had admitted during questioning by police that he had links with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, according to an FIR.
Ahmed and his brother Ashraf were killed by three men posing as journalists in the middle of a media interaction on April 15 night while police personnel were escorting them to a medical college here for a checkup.
The three accused — Lavlesh Tiwari, Sunny and Arun Maurya — were arrested over their alleged role in the crime.
As per an FIR registered at the Shahganj police station, Ahmed admitted to having links with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
Police said Ahmed's statement was recorded on court orders.
"The ISI, using drones, used to drop weapons in Punjab, and someone linked to the ISI used to collect these arms and send some of them to LeT, some to Khalistan separatist organisations, and some weapons like .45 bore pistol, AK-47 and RDX were made available to me, and I used to pay for the same. People belonging to these organisations also used to come to my place. And, information gathered from their conversations suggested that they wanted to cause a major incident in the country," Ahmed told police.
He also told police that he knew the whereabouts of some of these people associated with ISI and LeT, while his brother knew the details of others.
The five-time MLA also said that the weapons taken from (LeT and ISI) were used in the murder of Umesh Pal and two policemen in February this year.
"I know the places where the weapons have been kept. These places do not have house numbers. If you (police) take me and my brother together, we can identify these places," he said.
Meanwhile, the three men arrested for murdering Ahmed and his brother told police that they wanted to make a name for themselves by eliminating the gang.
The accused told police that they wanted to make their name and identity in the state by eliminating the gang of Ahmed and Ashraf, and that they will definitely get the benefit in future.
They also said that they could not escape after the crime as the police in a swift action got hold of them.
"Since the time we got to know about the police custody of Ahmed 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.
Ahmed (60) and his brother Ashraf, both jailed in Prayagraj, were in handcuffs when they were killed in full view of camera crews around 10 p.m. on April 15. The horrifying visuals were circulated widely on social media platforms and television channels. The last rites of Ahmed's son Asad, who was gunned down in a police encounter in Jhansi on April 13, were performed here just hours before the shooting.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has formed a three-member judicial commission to probe the killing of the brothers.