Mother in fray to avenge son’s ‘killer’

via http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Apr102009/national20090409129241.asp published on April 12, 2009


Former Union
minister Maneka Gandhi’s debate on ‘motherhood’ had the support of  the
entire saffron party. But here is another mother, who, unlike Maneka,
is fighting a lonely battle and that too against a mafia don- turned
politician

The mother is 70 year old Rani Pal and the politician is mafia don
Ateeq Ahmed, who is contesting from Pratapgarh Lok Sabha constituency.

Ironically, Ateeq Ahmed faces dozens of criminal cases, including murder and kidnapping.

At an age when most people remain confined to the bed and become
dependent upon others, Rani Pal has taken up cudgels for his son and
former BSP legislator Raju Pal, who was allegedly killed by Ateeq Ahmed
and his goons in Allahabad in January 2005.

Ateeq Ahmed is currently lodged in jail on charges of murdering Raju Pal.

Rani Pal, who had then taken a vow to finish Ateeq politically, has
also taken a plunge into the electoral battle from Pratapgarh and is
contesting from there as an independent.

Carrying a ‘broom’, Rani Pal visits the villages and homes and makes a
humble request to the voters not to support Ateeq. The broom, she says,
is a symbol and denotes that she was out to ‘sweep away’ the criminals
from politics.

Rani Pal is accompanied by some friends of her late son. “Ateeq is the
killer of my son. Please don’t support him”, is the only request of
Rani, who at times breaks down while narrating her pain. She also
carries a placard on which is written, ‘don’t vote for me but don’t
vote for Ateeq either’.

“I know I cannot win. I am not contesting to win. My main aim is to
ensure defeat of Ateeq Ahmed,” Rani told Deccan Herald from Pratapgarh.

“It is a war between me and Ateeq and it will continue …,” she said.
“As long as I live I shall keep on fighting Ateeq from wherever he
contests.”

Ateeq Ahmed, who was an MLA from Allahabad west seat, had resigned in
2004 and contested for Lok Sabha from Phulpur and won. His brother
Ashraf Ahmed, who contested from the vacant seat, was defeated by BSP’s
Raju Pal.

Raju Pal was sprayed with bullets while he was on way to his native
village to take part in a function. He had got married barely four days
back. His wife Puja Pal is presently a BSP MLA from the seat.

It is still uncertain whether the mother’s crusade will bear fruit in a
constituency where ‘Patels’ (a caste, which is a supporter of Ateeq’s
party Apna Dal) are in sizeable numbers. But definitely it is giving
sleepless nights to his supporters.

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