Former Indian MP and brother shot dead live on TV

A former member of India’s Parliament convicted of kidnapping has been shot dead on live TV along with his brother while in police custody in the northern city of Prayagraj, raising questions about rule of law in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The gunmen, who appeared to have posed as journalists, fired multiple shots at Atiq Ahmed and former state legislator Ashraf Ahmed on Saturday as they were being taken in handcuffs to hospital by police for a medical checkup, authorities said.

Three suspects quickly surrendered to the police after the shooting with at least one of them chanting, “Jai Shri Ram,” or “Hail Lord Ram,” a slogan that has become a battle cry for Hindu nationalists in their campaign against Muslims.

The two victims were from India’s Muslim minority. Police did not say whether they were investigating a possible sectarian motive in the killings.

Atiq Ahmed last month had said in a petition to India’s top court that his life was under threat from the police

Ahmed’s teenage son was shot dead by police days earlier.

Dozens of cases, including kidnapping, murder and extortion, were registered against Atiq Ahmed over the past two decades. A local court sentenced him and two others to life in jail in March this year in a kidnapping case.

Ahmed had previously claimed there was a threat to his own life from the police.

Video showed Ahmed and his brother, Ashraf, both in handcuffs, speaking to journalists on the way to a medical check-up at a hospital seconds before they were both shot.

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