April 7, 2021 12:54:03 am
Mukhtar Ansari continued to be debated in Punjab political circles Tuesday even as the state police handed over the custody of gangster-turned-politician to Uttar Pradesh amid questions being raised on alleged “political patronage” that was granted to the BSP MLA by the ruling Congress.
Former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha Bir Devinder Singh demanded a CBI probe into Anasri’s alleged links with the Congress leadership in Punjab.
In a statement, the senior SAD (Democratic) leader said that a probe was needed to find out why Punjab was resisting handing over Ansari to UP.
“The custody has been given by Punjab as result of the date bound explicit order of the Supreme Court in the matter. It’s reprehensible that Punjab jail authorities strongly resisted every move of the UP Police who were seeking the custody of Ansari (to take him back) to Banda Jail from where he was brought to Mohali on the production warrants way back in 2019. Punjab has been a hotbed for the growth of unwelcome criminal activities of gangsters and witnessed ferocious gang war for quite some time,” said Bir Devinder.
He said CBI must probe who ensured Ansari’s two years comfortable stay in Ropar jail. “What was the ulterior motive of the Punjab Police and the jail authorities behind retaining Ansari for such a long duration in Ropar jail, under one pretext or the other,” he asked.
Bir Devinder added that a person of Ansari’s hue cannot be accommodated and treated pleasantly as “undeclared state guest” without explicit direction of the chief minister or the jails minister. “Links of such gangsters with power that be in Punjab must be probed forthwith. Jail Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randawa and Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, as home minister, should be brought in the ambit of such probe,” he said.
Earlier, the Shiromani Akali Dal had sought a probe into the use of a private ambulance by Punjab police for ferrying Ansari from jail to a Mohali court last week.
A row had erupted over Ansari being ferried in an ambulance from Ropar jail to a Mohali court on March 31 in connection with the 2019 extortion case in Punjab. Punjab Police had clarified that a jail inmate can be transported in a private ambulance on medical grounds at his own cost.
UP police, meanwhile, launched a probe into the registration of the ambulance, saying fake documents were submitted for the vehicle at that time. The ambulance was found abandoned outside a roadside eatery on Chandigarh-Nangal highway in Rupnagar district on Saturday night.
SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema had claimed that the sequence of event lent credence to the assertions of the UP Police that the Punjab government was “in cahoots” with Ansari and that there were “orders from the very top to facilitate him in every manner possible.”
“This could be part of a bigger conspiracy which needs to the unearthed by a free and fair probe by a central agency,” Cheema had said.
Meanwhile, a team of “technical experts” from UP inspected the ambulance, ADG (Lucknow zone) SN Sabat said, adding a report about the vehicle will be submitted soon. “I was present during the inspection in a supervising capacity. The main inspection was done by the technical experts comprising transport officials. The vehicle is currently parked at the police lines in Barabanki district. We will wait for the report of the technical team for more details about the vehicle,” said Sabat.
On Friday, a case was lodged against a Mau-based doctor whose forged documents were allegedly used for registering the vehicle. On Monday, Barabanki police arrested a close associate of Mukhtar Ansari, Rajnath Yadav, in connection with case.
UP Police had said that charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal intimidation, knowingly furnishing false information to a public servant and section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment (CLA) Act were imposed against Mukhtar Ansari, Alka Rai, Sheshanath Rai, Mujahid and Rajnath Yadav.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.