In the 43 days of the Yogi Adityanath regime in Uttar Pradesh, as many as 93 bahubalis (dons) have been shifted to different jails in an attempt to make their crime machinery ineffective.
Mukhtar Ansari, Munna Bajrangi, Atiq Ahmed, Shekhar Tiwari, Maulana Anwarul Haq, Mukim alias Kala, Udaibhan Singh alias doctor, Titu alias Kiranpal, Rocky alias Kaki and Alam Singh are among those who have been shifted to far-flung jails from prisons in their home districts.
Though the dons are behind bars, their gangs let loose a reign of terror — committing murders, kidnapping, dacoity and extortion — with ease.
A bahubali’s call from jail was enough to terrorise businessmen, contractors and even government officers. Those who refused to follow their diktats were threatened, attacked or killed.
In his first law and order review meeting held on March 30, the chief minister propelled the police and prison officers into action.
Mukhtar Ansari was shifted from Lucknow jail to Banda, Atiq Ahmed from Naini central jail to Deoria, Munna Bajrangi from Jhansi jail to Pilibhit and Shekhar Tiwari from Barabanki to Maharajganj jail. Sources said the jail superintendents of Banda, Pilibhit and Deoria were nervous when they received the orders for shifting the dons.
The senior jail officers instilled confidence in them and were told not to buckle under the pressure but to deal strictly with the criminals.
To put pressure on the jail officers of Pilibhit, Munna Bajrangi, a dreaded contract killer, allegedly told them that he had details of their families and of even the schools and colleges where their children studied.
But the jail officials were told to follow Yogi Adityanath’s orders and not be apprehensive.
Additional director general of police (prison) GL Meena said, “Though behind bars, a majority of the criminals had established their crime network in the area. The jail administration received information that the gang members used to meet in jail and plan incidents of crime from there. The jail officers were under pressure due to the influence of the mafiosi. During surprise raids, mobile phones and SIM cards were recovered from the cells of criminals.”
The Special Task Force (STF) and Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) monitored the activities of the jailed dons and alerted the jail administration about their nefarious activities. Some of the jail officers were also involved in the nexus and the jail administration suspended the superintendents of Mainpuri and Fatehgarh jails, Meena said.
A BJP leader said, “Yogi is fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise made at a public meeting in Mau, the home turf of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari on February 27. Modi had alleged that jails in UP were virtually converted into a palace for criminals where they enjoyed all facilities and luxury. The gangsters can be seen going to jail with a smile and have photo sessions. Being in jail, they also get legal protection from the consequences of the crime committed by their gang.”
UNDERTRIALS IN HOSPITALS
Meena said the jail administration had prepared the list of the undertrials who are admitted in hospitals across the state.
“I have sought a report from the medical officers of the hospitals in which the undertrials, majority of them notorious criminals, are admitted. Gulshan Yadav, an accused in the killing of deputy superintendent of police Zia-ul- Haq in Pratapagarh district, was admitted to SRN Hospital, Allahabad. The medical report said he was suffering from a backache.”
Babu Singh Kushwaha, accused in a multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam, was admitted at the Ram Manohiar Lohia Hospital. “When the jail administration sought a report from the hospital, the doctors discharged the trio and sent them back to the jail,” Meena added.
During probe, the jail administration found that several undertrials used their influence to get medical certificates stating that they were suffering from some mental disorder.
The jail administration on Saturday sent letters to mental asylums in Varanasi, Agra and Bareilly, directing them to send a report about the health status of the undertrials.
“Fearing that they will be caught, the doctors have started discharging the undertrials,” Meena said.
The state home department has also directed district magistrates and the superintendents of police to check use of mobiles by the undertrials in jails.