PDA Demolishes Illegal Buildings of Gangster-Turned-Politician

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The Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) has demolished six buildings, including a house and office, that belonged to gangster-turned-politician since September 2020. Two of these buildings had been constructed on government land, according to officials.

A senior PDA official stated, “After we demolished the two buildings constructed on government land, we took possession of the land. The remaining four properties that were demolished belonged to Atiq Ahmed. Those buildings were demolished because they were constructed without their plans being approved by the authority concerned. Due process was followed before the demolitions. Notice was issued to Atiq Ahmed.” The official also mentioned that no family member of Atiq has come forward in connection with the demolitions.

The PDA has also taken back possession of three buildings that were in Atiq’s possession and had been constructed on government land in the last two years.

Atiq’s two-storey house, located in Prayagraj’s Chakia area, was demolished on September 22, 2020, two days after his office at Chakia crossing was demolished. According to the PDA official, Atiq’s house was spread out over three-four bigha of land and had allegedly forcibly captured the neighbours’ land as part of the house.

The office building was constructed in a bigger area than was approved by the authority, and notices were issued in 2019 seeking an explanation for the extra construction, but no reply was received. The illegally constructed area was then demolished on September 20, 2020.

Prayagraj police conducted a search inside the office building on March 21 after the arrest of five people related to a murder case. Police recovered Rs 72.37 lakh in cash, as well as arms and ammunition from Atiq’s office during that search.

Owners of shops near the building said that several years ago, a family used to live on the land on which Atiq’s office building stood. According to the shop owners, the family was pressurized by Atiq to sell him the land at much below the going rate.

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