Mukhtar Ansari Reaches UP’s Banda Jail Amid Tight Security

Ansari is set to face trial for several alleged crimes in UP, including murder and extortion.

Updated
India
3 min read
Politician Mukhtar Ansari.
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Several Uttar Pradesh Police personnel brought back jailed gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari to UP late in the night. The politician, who is set to face trial for several heinous crimes in state, was picked up from Rupnagar jail in Punjab on Tuesday, 6 April.

Satya Prakash Sharma, CO Sadar, told ANI, “We were tasked to bring him here (to Banda jail). He was brought here late in the night.”

Ansari had been incarcerated in the Rupnagar jail since January 2019 over a case of extortion.

A 150-member UP Police team from Banda, including a company of the Provincial Armed Constabulary, equipped with sophisticated weapons left for Punjab on Monday morning to bring back the BSP MLA from Mau, PTI reported.

Punjab’s home department had written to UP home department’s additional chief secretary to take the politician’s custody from the jail on or before 8 April.

UP had filed a writ petition seeking the MLA’s transfer, following which the Supreme Court, in an order dated 26 March, allowed the plea and directed Punjab to transfer Ansari to UP’s Banda jail within two weeks.

What the Plea Said

UP had filed a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution, as well as Section 406 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), contending that Ansari’s earlier transfer to Rupnagar Jail from Banda Jail was “a conspiracy” to ensure he remains in Punjab, thus avoiding trial in the various criminal cases against him.

While facing trial for 10 crimes in the state of UP, including murder, a case of extortion and criminal intimidation was filed in Mohali against the accused. Following this, Ansari was handed over to the Punjab Police.

The state of UP alleged that whenever the politician’s custody was sought, it would get denied on trivial medical grounds.

What the SC Order Said

On March 26, a Supreme Court bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy invoked powers under the Constitution’s Article 142, which enables the court to pass orders to ensure “complete justice”, directing the Punjab Police to transfer Ansari’s custody to UP.

The bench noted that Ansari was allegedly involved in various cases of murder, attempt to murder, cheating, conspiracy as well as offences under the UP Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986, registered in UP, and 10 of these cases were in different stages of trial.

According to The Indian Express, the court also noted on record, “During the period from 14 February 2019 to 14 February 2020, Ansari’s custody had been denied on 26 occasions. A perusal of the reasons for not giving custody shows that it is mainly on the medical grounds, referring to diabetes mellitus, skin allergy, hypertension, backache, throat infection, etc.”

It went on to say that, every time the custody was “denied on trivial grounds” and ordered Punjab to comply within two weeks.

The bench also said it did not wish to record any finding on allegations of conspiracy “at this stage”. However, the accused not applying for bail in the Mohali case so far “gives any amount of suspicion on” his “conduct”, The India Express reported.

Background

There are over 38 cases of heinous crimes lodged against Ansari at various police stations, including those in Lucknow, Ghazipur, and Mau in UP, the report in The Indian Express stated.

A Delhi court had previously acquitted Ansari, his MP brother Afzal Ansari, and five others in the murder case of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai.

On 29 November 2005, BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai and six others were shot dead with AK-47 rifles in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh. Following the incident, Rai’s body was found riddled with over 21 bullets.

Pramod Tiwari, the acting Superintendent of the Banda District Jail said that Ansari will be lodged in Barrack Number-15, where no other prisoner can reach him, PTI reported.

He added, “Three prison guards will be deployed inside the barrack.”

(With inputs from PTI, The Indian Express)

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