As Mukhtar Ansari heads to Banda jail, his brother raises concern
Afzal Ansari, brother of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, raised questions about the intention of Uttar Pradesh government. Speaking about shifting of Mukhtar from Punjab's Rupnagar jail to UP's Banda, Afzal said he has full faith in the judiciary.
Mukhtar is being shifted after an order of the Supreme Court to be tried for various criminal cases in Uttar Pradesh.
"Their intention is not right. In the same Banda jail, he (Mukhtar) was given poison in tea... we have full faith in the judiciary. We have moved a plea to provide medical facilities to him," Afzal Ansari was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"I am hopeful that Supreme Court will ensure that those in power don't kill someone. In a public rally, BJP state president announces 'gaadi UP ke kis border pe paltegi, ye nahi bataunga (I won't disclose on which border the car carrying Mukhtar will overturn)'. A minister says 'gaadi to palat ke rahegi (the car will definitely overturn)'," he added.
The remarks were in reference to the killing of gangster Vikas Dubey in July last year. Dubey was gunned down by the police in an encounter after he “attempted to flee” while being brought to Kanpur from Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain where he was arrested.
"If they do something arbitrarily, then the time for end of such dictators is nearing. Sacrifice is needed to end dictatorship. If such a thing happens, I will consider that Mukhtar has been sacrificed for the end of the dictatorial government," said Afzal Ansari.
The Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday took custody of Mukhtar Ansari, leaving with him from Punjab’s Rupnagar jail in a convoy headed 900 km away for a prison in Banda where security has been tightened to hold the gangster-turned-politician.
The transfer happened after a bitter legal battle in the Supreme Court in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh accused the Congress government in Punjab of “shielding” Ansari for several months by not letting the state take custody.
Ansari has been lodged in Rupnagar jail since January 2019 in connection with an extortion case.
According to the UP police, Mukhtar Ansari faces 52 cases in the state - including murder, attempt to murder, cheating and conspiracy - and 15 of them are at the trial stage.
Punjab's home department had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to take Ansari’s custody by April 8, following the March 26 Supreme Court order that had set a two-week deadline.
Ansari will be kept in barrack number 15 of the Banda district jail when he reaches there on Wednesday morning, an official said. He added that access to the barrack has been denied to other jail inmates.
(With inputs from agencies)