Uttar Pradesh takes over Mukhtar Ansari’s custody from Punjab
Chandigarh/Lucknow A team of at least 100 officials of the Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday took custody of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari from the Punjab police.
Officials at the Central jail in Punjab’s Ropar handed over the Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mau MLA to the police team from UP’s Banda, led by deputy superintendent of police Satya Prakash, after a team of doctors examined Ansari.
A senior official said Ansari was handed over to the UP police at around 2.10 pm on Tuesday and the contingent is likely to reach Banda by Wednesday morning.
UP police, equipped with sophisticated weapons, are bringing Ansari back to the state in an anti-riot vehicle, Vajra.
The action has come after the Supreme Court directed Punjab to grant Ansari’s custody to UP after the Yogi Adityanath-led government in the state moved the top court against the Punjab government’s refusal to transfer him.
Ansari has been lodged in Ropar jail since January 2019 in connection with an extortion case.
The official said that all security measures have been employed to ensure Ansari’s safe transfer after a Special Task Force from UP was assigned to chalk out a route plan. Other prisons in UP have also been asked to prepare in case of any last-minute changes due to security reasons.
Banda jailor Pramod Tiwari said all security arrangements in the jail have been beefed up.
“Security personnel have been posted inside as well as outside the jail premises. In barrack number 15, where Mukhtar Ansari will be kept, arrangements of light, drinking water and cleanliness have been spruced up,” news agency PTI quoted Tiwari as saying.
On March 26, the top court directed the Punjab government to hand over the custody of Ansari to the Uttar Pradesh police, saying it was being denied on trivial grounds under the guise of medical issues. The court directed that Ansari’s custody be handed over to Uttar Pradesh within two weeks so as to lodge him in Banda district jail in the state.
The BJP-run Uttar Pradesh government accused the Congress government in Punjab of “shielding” Ansari by not letting the state take custody.
The apex court also noted that Ansari was allegedly involved in various cases of attempt to murder, murder, cheating and conspiracy apart from offences under the Gangsters Act, lodged in Uttar Pradesh. Out of these, 10 cases were at trial stage.
In a related development, Ropar senior superintendent of police Akhil Chaudhary has ordered a probe into the circumstances under which an ambulance, ferrying Ansari from Ropar jail to Mohali court on March 31, was found abandoned near Nanak Dhaba in village Khwaspura fallinder Sadar Police Station of Ropar.
A case was registered in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki after the documents of the ambulance were found to be fake and one person was arrested on Monday.