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Anna breezes out of police custody

THE CLOUT of being close to the powers-that-be came to the forefront during the daylong drama of mafia don-turned-ex-Samajwadi Party MLC Anna Shukla?s arrest and his subsequent release on Saturday. Samajwadi Party activists, led by Anna?s nephews and aides, created a ruckus at Hasanganj police station and even manhandled policemen to protest the arrest of the don.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2006 00:54 IST

THE CLOUT of being close to the powers-that-be came to the forefront during the daylong drama of mafia don-turned-ex-Samajwadi Party MLC Anna Shukla’s arrest and his subsequent release on Saturday.

Samajwadi Party activists, led by Anna’s nephews and aides, created a ruckus at Hasanganj police station and even manhandled policemen to protest the arrest of the don. Police personnel were left with no option but to apply force on the rowdy mob of agitators to avoid a major law and order crisis.

Significantly, Anna was held in separate cases on two complaints pending against the don. Meanwhile, no FIR has been lodged yet into the brutal assault on trader Atul Jain, who was attacked by Anna and his goons on Friday. Despite all efforts made by Jain and other traders from Friday morning to Saturday evening, police officials did not make any move to register a case.

Circle officer (CO) Mahanagar Dhirendra Rai, who mustered courage to lay hands on the Daliganj don, had to bear the brunt and Anna threatened him with dire consequences. It was around 11 am when the don came out of his Daliganj residence when he heard about successful closure of the market in protest of the attack on Jain. Seeing it as a flaw in his reign of terror in the area, the don, accompanied by his goons, visited the market.

Hurling expletives and issuing threats, Anna started forcing traders to either open the shops immediately or else their business would be in peril. He caught one trader Rajju Tiwari and forced him to open his shop. When Tiwari resisted, the don started beating him up with slippers.

Tiwari ran into the nearby Hasanganj police station to escape the assault. The don reached there too but a mob of traders had gathered at the police station meanwhile. Someone informed circle officer Mahanagar Dhirendra Rai and the latter rushed to the spot. Rai immediately took Anna into custody. The don lost his temper asking the CO to specify what offence he was being held for. Anna was taken aback as he was told that two separate cases had been registered against the don on Saturday morning. To avoid law and order trouble, Rai took Anna to Gudamba police station.

Talking to the HT Lucknow Live, CO Rai said he was probing into two complaints made to the SSP by two women candidates in civic election, Shiv Kumari Shukla and Saira Bano. Shiv Kumari is a widow of Anna’s elder brother Prem Shanker but she lives separately from the don. Both women are contesting against Anna’s daughter-in-law.

The women had alleged that Anna had threatened them to withdraw their candidature against his nephew Mukesh’s wife. Anna had even beaten up Shiv Kumari’s driver Umashanker and Saira’s husband Ramzan on October 12 and 14, respectively.

The CO found the complaint genuine and cases were registered for issuing life threats, 7 Criminal Amendment Law Act and forcing a candidate to withdraw candidature. The power of a minister’s status helped Anna in getting released on bail from the police station at around 4.30 pm.

First Published: Oct 29, 2006 00:54 IST