As many as 22 families residing in a lavish flat in Lucknow bore the brunt of the UP government’s action against mafia brothers Atiq Ahmed and Ashraf when the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) served a demolition notice to the residents, saying the flat was illegal and allegedly by Mohammed Muslim. Shideh, a close associate of the mafia turned politician.

However, local residents say they will approach the court if they are asked to vacate the apartments. We have invested all our hard earned money to buy this Flat. We don’t have anything but this apartment. We will not let any development authority destroy our homes. It’s not our fault that the apartment was built by Ateeq Ahmed’s assistant. Why are we traumatized? asked one of the residents, who did not wish to be quoted. Residents of the apartment also said that the notice given to them bore the wrong address.

Shiva Kumar Srivastava, one of the owners of the land on which the Shiva Empire Residency apartments are built, said, “It was a big surprise for us. It is not a new apartment. The land on which our apartment is built belonged to our ancestors who rented it in 1928.”

Explaining the history of the land, Srivastava explained that the land belonged to the ‘Kayastha Samaj’. Our grandparents bought this land from the Lucknow Improvement Trust in 1928 on a 90 year lease. Upon completion of the lease we finished the freehold and then made an agreement with a builder who eventually built the flat. We don’t really know if the builder had any connection With Muhammad Muslim at the time when the apartment was constructed, people were not aware of the Muslim and his connections,” Srivastava noted.

He said that people also went to the LDA where they were told that the apartment belonged to Muhammad Muslim and permission was given to build only two floors while the apartment has five floors.

Officials from the LDA said that during the examination of the property of the mafia brothers and their close assistants, it was found that the land of about 446 square meters belonged to Amir Ali, a relative of Muhammad Muslim, on which a five-story apartment was erected. 2012. The LDA official said: “This apartment was contrary to the plan approved by the LDA in which permission to build two floors was granted.”

The officials added that the LDA first served a notice on December 19, 2012, to Amir Ali about the illegality. On 30 July 2013 the LDA ordered the building to be demolished within 25 days but no action was taken.

On the issue, LDA District Officer Rama Shankar said the flat was built by a Muslim. “However, we are not aware of the differences in the title of the apartment and that of Muhammad Muslim in the LDA records,” he said.

According to the UP Police, Musallam, who was living in Lucknow, had interests in Prayagraj and was very close to Atiq Ahmed. They worked together for about 10 years but over the past 4 years, the two have had more and more disagreements. Recently, some messages showing how Ateeq works from jail went viral as Ateeq threatened Ahmed Mohamed Muslim and demanded 5 crore from him. The builder ended up paying Rs 80 lakh to Ateeq Ahmed’s son, Asad.

Asad, along with one of his assistants, were killed in a police encounter in Jhansi on 14 April. It is said that Rs 80 lakh was used to plan the murder of Umesh Pal, which took place in February.

Recently, an audio clip of Assad and Muhammad Muslim, the son of Ateeq Ahmed, spread. Later, Ateeq Ahmed sent a threatening letter to Muhammad Muslim.

“I tell you for the last time, that you are playing ED-ED with my son. The Enforcement Department has not confiscated your money yet, it is better if our son Omar has his account. And the money that is given to Assad we need for the elections so that we do not promise you you..” The threatening letter read.

Ateeq Ahmad told the builder, “You have earned your house by luck and wit, but give us money… It will be useful to us at this time… Understand more with less words… I will not die, God willing… You’d better meet us.”

Atiq Ahmed was shot dead at close range by three people in Prayagraj on 15 April. Ateeq’s brother, Ashraf, was also killed on the spot.

In the background of the confusion over the address, around 100 people staying at the Shiva Empire Residency are having sleepless nights.

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