Gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari was handed over to Uttar Pradesh police custody on Tuesday after a Supreme Court order directed him to be transferred from Punjab’s Rupnagar prison to UP’s Banda jail. Ansari was shifted amid high security arrangements. A team of UP police comprising of 150 personnel, a company of the Provincial Armed Constabulary, equipped with sophisticated weapons left from Banda on Monday morning to bring back Ansari.
Ansari, BSP MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Mau, is facing 52 cases in the state and elsewhere, and 15 of them are in the trial stage. Ansari has been lodged since January 2019 in connection with an extortion case. The police have, till now, arrested 96 criminals and seized, freed, or demolished property worth Rs 192 crore linked to the BSP MLA and his associates.
The heavy security arrangements were made after a private ambulance used to ferry Ansari from the Rupnagar jail to a Mohali court, in connection with an alleged 2019 extortion matter on March 31, was found abandoned and its paperwork was found to be fake. Amid tight security arrangements, Ansari was taken to the court on a wheelchair. He was sent back to the Rupnagar jail, where he is lodged since January 2019, in the ambulance after the court appearance. The FIR was registered under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 420 (forgery), 471 (fraudulently or dishonestly using documents as genuine), 467 (forgery of valuable security) and 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating).
The five-time BSP MLA from Mau has avoided 26 warrants issued by the Prayagraj court citing medical grounds, according to court records submitted to the SC by the UP government. Ansari’s paternal grandfather, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, was the president of the Indian National Congress in 1927–28. His maternal grandfather Brigadier Mohammad Usman Ansari, also known as ‘Lion of Nowshera’, was a Mahavir Chakra awardee. His son Abbas Ansari is a national-level Indian shooter in shotgun shooting and has won medals and accolades internationally. Abbas is currently BSP MLA from Mau.
In the letter, the Punjab home department had asked the Uttar Pradesh additional chief secretary (home) for suitable arrangements to be made for Ansari’s transfer. “The said handover is to be made at district jail Rupnagar on/before April 8,” the letter stated.
It also said that Ansari suffered from certain medical conditions and the same may be kept in mind while making arrangements for his transfer. The Supreme Court had directed the Punjab government to handover the custody of Ansari to the Uttar Pradesh police, saying it was being denied on trivial grounds under the guise of medical issues.
It had also said that a convict or an under-trial prisoner, who disobeys the law of the land, cannot oppose his transfer from one prison to another and the courts are not to be helpless bystanders when the rule of law is being challenged with impunity.