The Rise & Fall of Atiq Ahmed, ‘Chand Baba’ & Gangster Raj Over 50 Years Apextalk

With the killing of Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf on Saturday, Prayagraj’s almost-50-year-long ‘gangster era’ has come to an end, according to former policemen and political observers.

Posing as journalists, three men — Lovlesh Tiwari, Sunny Singh and Arun Maurya – allegedly shot dead the duo at point-blank range while they were speaking to reporters after their medical test.

ALSO READ | Atiq Ahmed Death News LIVE HERE

“No more gangs and gang wars! The killing of Ahmed has brought the gangster era in Prayagraj, the erstwhile Allahabad, to an end,” said Brij Lal, a 1977 batch Indian Police Services (IPS) officer, who has served as a former Director General of Police (DGP) of Uttar Pradesh and started his career from Prayagraj.

Lal has closely seen the rise and fall of gangster-turned-politician Ahmed. “It was no less than a Bollywood movie. But Ahmed’s conviction broke the myth that mafias always manage to escape from the clutches of law,” said Lal.


Born in Shravasti, Ahmed stepped into the world of crime with his first murder in 1979. His name first appeared in the police records of Khuldabad police station of Prayagraj. Soon, Ahmed was at loggerheads with then dreaded gangster Shauq-e-Ilahi aka ‘Chand Baba’ of the old city area, said a senior police officer. After several shootouts and gang wars, Ilahi was killed in a police encounter in 1989, the former DGP said.


“Prior to Ahmed, Ilahi was the most dreaded gangster of the late 1970s and early 1980s,” said Abhay Awasthi, a social scientist and former Allahabad student union president, who strongly feels that Chand Baba was Ahmed’s guru.

“In 1986, Illahi committed the first murder. He killed a seer, earning the name ‘Chand Baba’. From there, there was no looking back in the world of crime,” said Awasthi.

ALSO READ | Shauk-e-Ilahi: Most Feared Gangster of 1980s Guru or Friend to Umesh Pal Murder Accused Ateeq Ahmed?

People say that Ahmed first had a good bond with Ilahi. In 1988, Ahmed expressed his willingness to contest the 1989 assembly elections as an independent. Ilahi gave him a go-ahead, but after he was brainwashed by his political godfathers, he filed a nomination from the same constituency, Allahabad West. This brought the two at the loggerheads.

On November 6, 1989, the Chowk area witnessed a gruesome gang war near Raushan Bagh Dhaal, in which Ilahi was killed. The next day, the assembly election result was announced, in which Ahmed won by around 25,909 votes, whereas Ilahi secured only 9,221 votes.


With no one to challenge him, Ahmed’s muscle power grew with each passing year. His entry into politics further strengthened his hold over the region. In 1989, Ahmed was elected as an MLA from Allahabad West assembly constituency. He won five consecutive terms between 1989 and 2004. In 2004, he won the Phoolpur Lok Sabha seat and served as an MP till 2009.

ALSO READ | ‘Rangbazi’, ‘Bambazi’ as Old as Allahabad’s ‘Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb’. Umesh Pal Murder Just a Reminder

When Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Raju Pal challenged his clout and defeated his brother Khalid Azeem in the elections, Ahmed and his men killed Pal in full public view in Prayagraj. In this period, first information reports (FIR) against him also multiplied in Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Chitrakoot, Lucknow, Kanpur, and even other states. In around four decades, 101 criminal incidents directly or indirectly involving the former Samajwadi Party (SP) leader surfaced in the state.

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