Gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari was brought back to UP’s Banda jail from Punjab on Wednesday morning. The MLA from BSP was brought to UP after two years in Punjab jail in an ambulance amid tight security during his 900-km journey from Rupnagar to Banda in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Acting on a Supreme Court order, the Uttar Pradesh Police took custody of the 57-year-old BSP legislator at Rupnagar jail on Tuesday to bring him back to Banda prison.
The five-time MLA reached Banda jail, where he was lodged in barrack number 15. “Security personnel have been posted inside as well as outside the jail premises,” Banda jailor Pramod Tiwari said.
The UP Police took custody of the MLA at Rupnagar jail on Tuesday to bring him back to Banda prison after completing the formalities. According to reports the convoy entered Banda jail at 4:30 am
Ansari was in news recently when police officers in UP lodged an FIR, saying fake documents were used to register the ambulance that was used to ferry him from a Punjab jail to a court in the state.
The UP government had told Supreme Court that the Punjab government was “shamelessly protecting” the legislator by not handing over his custody to face trial “in 10 heinous cases of murder, extortion, cheating, fraud” and “gangster acts” in the special court for MPs and MLAs in Allahabad.
UP BJP MLA Alka Rai, wife of former legislator Krishnanad Rai who was murdered in 2005, had in October last year shot off a letter to Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, accusing the Congress government in Punjab of helping Ansari, an accused in the murder of her husband, evade court appearances in UP.
The Punjab Police had made heavy security arrangements outside the Rupnagar Jail. The Banda prison area looked like a cantonment zone with police presence keeping round the clock vigil. He will be guarded by three security personnel round-the-clock inside the barrack.
Ansari’s wife, however, refuting the claims wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, expressing fears that he might be killed in a fake encounter while being transferred from Punjab to Uttar Pradesh following the Supreme Court direction.
Ansari successfully contested his first assembly election on a BSP ticket from the Mau seat in 1996. Denied the party’s ticket in 2002, he contested as an independent and won the seat in 2002. He retained his seat as an independent in 2007. Later that year, he rejoined the BSP and unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary election against BJP stalwart Murli Manohar Joshi in 2009.
In 2010, Ansari was expelled from the BSP for his alleged criminal links. He floated the Quami Ekta Dal later that year, contested the 2012 assembly election from Mau as its candidate and won. In January 2017, he returned to the BSP, which fielded him from Mau in the 2017 assembly elections. Ansari won again.