With elections at its peak in UP, there’s one family that is not giving up its fight against gangster-turned politician Mukhtar Ansari, who is contesting from Mau Sadar this time on a BSP ticket.
Secured with high boundary walls, this house in Mau’s Sahadatpur locality, a prominent medical hub in eastern India, is constantly under electronic surveillance. CCTV cameras are scanning movement of every stranger around the house. The doors do not open for visitors till his/her identity is ascertained.
The house owner, Ashok Singh, moves in a security cordon of three gunners, but family members feel he is still not safe as mafia-turned-local legislator Mukhtar Ansari is baying for his blood.
But Ashok is unfazed. He says life and death is in God’s hand. No external power can harm him until it’s a God’s will. He, however, takes utmost precaution while venturing out of the house.
The feud between Ashok and Mukhtar dates back to August 29, 2009 when the latter allegedly got his elder brother, Ajay Prakash Singh alias Manna killed over ransom.
Ansari’s alleged hired shooters fired at Manna’s SUV near the town’s Union Bank killing him and his bodyguard, Rajesh Rai. The driver, Sabbir, who suffered three bullet injuries, and the manager, Ram Singh Maurya, had survived.
Manna was one of the top five contractors in Mau engaged in civil construction work for various government departments.
Ashok’s family members alleged that Ansari had demanded protection money (goonda tax) from him. Since Manna refused to pay, he had to pay with his life.
The bloodshed didn’t end there. As Maurya and Shabbir, eye witnesses to the case, booked Ansari and his unidentified goons for the twin murder, assailants struck again within a gap of seven months killing Maurya and his bodyguard Satish Kumar near a local court.
The sensational murder shook the area, but since Ansari was in jail when the killings took place, police had no adequate evidence to prove his involvement.
Even worse, Shabbir, the lone surviving witness, had turned hostile.
At this juncture, Ashok lodged a fresh FIR against Ansari for the four murders. He produced several evidences and witnesses before the court.
“My father received several threats from Ansari and his goons to withdraw the case, but he is not the one to get afraid. The case is now in its final stage. All witnesses have deposed in the court and evidences have been provided. The judgment may come anytime soon,” said Ashok’s son, Gaurav Singh.
According to him, his is the only family in entire UP that has taken a stand against the don and fighting a case against him in the court. “He has been booked in multiple cases, but no one dares to stand in the court and say he is a killer. Several witnesses have either been killed or have committed suicide,” he said.
Official records suggest that Mukhtar has 44 cases in Eastern UP, mostly murders. He also has cases in other states.
“My father is paying for his popularity,” said the jailed legislator’s son, Abbas Ansari.
With elections under way, Ashok tried to match Mukhtar’s clout seeking a BJP ticket to contest against him from Mau Sadar, but NDA gave the seat to its alliance partner, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party. In the last poll, this party had an alliance with Mukhtar’s QED that merged with BSP last month.
“What if he wins again? We will continue our fight and won’t rest till he is convicted,” Ashok said, adding, “He has also filed a petition in the high court against BSP chief Mayawati for calling jailed Mukhtar innocent.”