Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA Alka Rai, wife of former legislator Krishna Nand Rai who was murdered in 2005, has shot off a letter to Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, accusing the Congress government in Punjab of helping gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, an MLA from Mau Sadar seat, and an accused in the murder of her husband, evade court appearances in UP. Ansari is at present lodged in Ropar jail of Punjab.
Here is a lowdown on the cases against Ansari in the two states, and the reason why the Punjab Police is not letting the UP Police take him back to the state.
Why is Ansari in a Punjab jail?
Ansari was booked for extortion (Section 386 of Indian Penal Code) and criminal intimidation (Section 506 of the IPC) on the complaint of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Homeland Group engaged in real estate business in Punjab and Delhi National Capital Region. In his complaint to the Mohali SSP, the CEO stated that on January 9, 2019 evening he answered a call from a person who introduced himself as “some Ansari from UP” and asked him to pay up Rs 10 crore if he wanted to ensure the safety of his family. The complainant said he had recorded the call. The police lodged an FIR in which Ansari was named as the accused with his address as Banda, Uttar Pradesh. The Punjab Police brought Ansari on production warrant from a jail in Uttar Pradesh about a fortnight after the registration of this case. He has been lodged in the Ropar jail since then.
Why is Punjab prisons department not sending back Ansari for court appearances in UP?
As per Punjab Prisons department, a panel of doctors has “advised Ansari against long travel”. Punjab Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) PK Sinha said Ansari was advised bed rest by PGIMER, Chandigarh, last year and also by a panel of three doctors in Ropar district last month. “We go by the recommendations of medical officers. Last year, he underwent a medical examination at PGI. He is suffering from back pain and high sugar levels. Last month, a three-member panel of doctors, headed by Ropar civil surgeon, conducted a medical examination and advised Ansari bed rest for three months. The panel also advised him against long travel. He is under bed rest in jail barrack,” Sinha added.
What are the cases against Ansari in UP?
Ansari is a history-sheeter in Mohammadabad police station of Ghazipur district with 38 cases of heinous crime lodged against him. The cases against the five-time MLA are lodged at various police stations in different districts, including Lucknow, Ghazipur and Mau.
Ansari has been acquitted in most of these cases. Last year in July, a Delhi court acquitted him and six others including brother and BSP MP Afzal Ansari in the murder case of BJP MLA Krishna Nand Rai in 2005. In 2018, he was acquitted in the double murder case that took place in Kotwali area of Mau district in 2009.
Before being shifted to Punjab, Mukhtar stayed at various jails such as Ghazipur, Mau, Agra, Lucknow and Banda jail. In 2018, Mukhtar was rushed from Banda jail to hospital after he suffered a heart attack and fell unconscious. The incident occurred when his wife Afshan came to meet him. The hospital in Banda referred him to Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute (SGPGI) in Lucknow. After treatment, Mukhtar was sent back to Banda jail.
The police record of Mohammadabad police station shows that Ansari has been chargesheeted in all 38 cases lodged against him. “We need to check the status of all cases,” said station house officer Ashesh Nath Singh of Mohammadabad police station (Ghazipur).
When contacted, Mukhtar’s brother Afzal Ansari said, “I believe there are four cases pending against Ansari, which include two cases registered in Lucknow. One of the cases is under the Gangster Act and the other is of giving threat.”
Asked about BJP MLA Alka Rai’s letter, Afzal said it was politically motivated. The trial in Krishna Nand Rai’s murder case was held in Delhi and the court has decided the case. “The appeal against the court’s decision is to be filed in Delhi, why does Alka Rai want Mukhtar Ansari to be brought to Uttar Pradesh. She should explain this,” said Afzal Ansari. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram
What about the threat perception to Mukhtar Ansari?
A Punjab jails department official said Ansari was “under threat even within the jail” and additional security has been deployed at the barrack. In August this year, the UP Police gunned down Ansari’s associate Rakesh Pandey, an accused in Krishna Nand Rai’s murder case, in an encounter in Lucknow.
The same month, the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) demolished two “illegal buildings” registered in the name of Mukhtar’s family members in the posh Dalibagh locality of Lucknow. Officials claimed the properties were constructed on “evacuee property” and did not have an approved plan.
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