NEW DELHI - Former MP Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf Ahmed were shot dead by three men posing as journalists in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj in India on Saturday.

Mr Ahmed was a member of the Indian Parliament and the UP Legislative Assembly and had over 100 criminal cases registered against him.

Both him and his brother were being taken for a mandatory medical checkup at a hospital in local police custody when they were shot point-blank using semi-automatic pistols by the gunmen around 10.30pm on Saturday.

The shocking incident was captured live on camera as the two brothers were answering questions being posed by reporters.

Local reports suggest about 20 bullets were fired at the brothers as they collapsed with a journalist and a police constable also injured from the shooting.

Cameras show a hand carrying a pistol pushing aside Mr Ahmed’s white turban from behind with the nozzle and firing at his left temple.

In some videos of the incident shared widely on social media, slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” can be heard over the visuals as police subdued two of the perpetrators.

The Independent has not verified the authenticity of the videos.

Local police said that the assailants have been identified as Lovelesh Tewari, Sunny Singh and Arun Maurya.

They arrived in Prayagraj two days ago and planned the attack on learning that the brothers were in police custody, according to NDTV.

A senior official told The Indian Express that the interrogation of the two murdered brothers was almost completed and as per routine legal procedure, both were taken to the hospital under police security for a check-up before sending them back into judicial custody.

Atiq Ahmed was sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment in the abduction case of now-dead Umesh Pal, a witness in the 2005 murder case of a local member of the legislative assembly.

Based on a complaint made by Mr Pal’s wife, a case was filed against Mr Ahmed, his brother Ashraf, Asad Ahmed [Atiq’s son] and his aide Ghulam Hassan and others on 25 February.

Meanwhile, UP police said the three assailants behind Mr Ahmed and his brother’s killing are being interrogated for more details. Local reports said that the three gunmen told police that they wanted to kill the brothers “to become famous”.

State chief minister Yogi Adityanath – a leading figure in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – set up a three-member judicial commission to probe the incident.

Curfews and restrictions on people’s movement have been imposed in the city. There is heavy police deployment in several sensitive towns to maintain law and order, according to local reports.

Officials have also suspended the cops deployed to escort the brothers safely to the medical college, according to The Wire.

The killings come just two days after the politician’s son Asad Ahmed and his aide Ghulam Hassan were killed in a police encounter with the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF).

The two were shot dead by the STF during an encounter when they reportedly refused to surrender and opened fire in an attempt to flee.

Asad had earlier approached the Supreme Court stating that he feared he would be killed in a fake encounter but India’s top court had turned down his plea.

Two of Mr Ahmed’s alleged aides, who were also accused in the Umesh Pal murder case, were also recently killed in separate police encounters.

Several Indian TV channels televised the disturbing footage of Mr Ahmed and his brother’s killing on Saturday fully without any breaks or blurs.

“By doing false encounters, the BJP government is trying to divert attention from the real issues. The BJP does not believe in the court at all,” the state’s opposition leader Akhilesh Yadav from the Samajwadi Party tweeted on Thursday.

Mr Ahmed’s lawyer told NDTV that the police security arrangement when the brothers were being taken to the hospital for a mandatory medical check-up was “very minimal”.

Opposition party leaders, including Mr Yadav, have criticised the “failing law and order situation in UP” citing the recent killings that happened under police watch.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi called the murders “a perfect example of Yogi’s big failure of law & order”

“In a society where murderers are celebrated, what’s the use of a criminal justice system?” he tweeted.