Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav has stoked a fresh controversy after he took name of slain gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed along with 'Ji,' which is a suffix placed after a person's name or title as a mark of respect. While addressing the reporters on Monday, he said in Hindi, "UP mein agar aap dekho jo hua toh ye Atiq ji ka janaza nahi hai, UP mein kanoon ka janaza nikla hai (What happened in UP was not the funeral procession of Atiq Ahmed 'Ji' but that of law and order in UP)."
"I have no sympathies for crime or criminals. There are laws and Constitution to eliminate crime. Even the assassins of a PM were made to undergo trial & they were punished. What happened in UP was not the funeral procession of Atiq Ahmed JI but that of law. UP tops in terms of custodial deaths. This has been done for cheap publicity. Everyone knows the kind of rule in UP...This seemed scripted," he said.
#WATCH | Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav says, "I have no sympathies for crime or criminals. There are laws & Constitution to eliminate crime. Even the assassins of a PM were made to undergo trial & they were punished. What happened in UP was not the funeral procession of… pic.twitter.com/7Q5PMRDZIU— ANI (@ANI) April 17, 2023
After Congress leader PL Punia questioned the legal course of the encounter of Atiq Ahmed's son, Asad, the BJP launched an unrelenting attack on the Congress addressing the slain gangster-turned-politician with 'Ji.'
BJP's national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla took to Twitter and said, "After Osama ji and Hafiz Saeed ji comments made by Congress leaders in the past, now they have added this honorific to a gangster, mafia and criminal. Samajwadi Party says the encounter will end bhaichara and now the Congress adds ji. This is vote bank politics."
Three shooters on Saturday, who posed as a journalist, gunned down Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf from point-blank range while they were taken to the hospital for a medical check-up in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj. All three shooters have been sent to 14-day judicial custody on the order of a Prayagraj court. This incident came days after Atiq's son Asad and his aide were killed in an encounter with the UP Special Task Force (STF). Asad was wanted in the murder case of Umesh Pal, the prime witness of the 2005 Raju Pal murder case.