Krishnanand Rai murder case: Over 400 bullet shells recovered from crime scene

Krishnanand Rai, who was an MLA from Mohammadabad assembly constituency in Ghazipur, was sprayed with bullets along with six others in Ghazipur by a group of assailants armed with AK-47 assault rifles.
According to a police officer, at least six assailants armed with AK-47 assault rifles surrounded two vehicles in which Rai and six of his associates were travelling and sprayed them with bullets in broad daylight.(HT File / Photo used for representational purpose only)
According to a police officer, at least six assailants armed with AK-47 assault rifles surrounded two vehicles in which Rai and six of his associates were travelling and sprayed them with bullets in broad daylight.(HT File / Photo used for representational purpose only)
Published on Jul 04, 2019 10:32 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Lucknow | ByRohit K Singh, Lucknow

The killing of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Krishnanand Rai in November 2005 was one of the most sensational political murders in the history of Uttar Pradesh, according to a senior officer who was privy to investigations in the case.

Former BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari and all the other accused in Rai’s murder were acquitted by a special CBI court on Wednesday.

Rai, 50, who was an MLA from Mohammadabad assembly constituency in Ghazipur, was sprayed with bullets along with six others in Ghazipur by a group of assailants armed with AK-47 assault rifles.

Recalling the gruesome murder, the officer, who did not wish to be named, said: “The police recovered more than 400 bullet shells from the spot. As many as 21 bullets were recovered from Rai’s body alone.”

“The murder sent shock waves across the state. At around 1.30 pm on November 29, 2005, Rai’s cavalcade was ambushed at a narrow bridge in Ussarchati locality in Bhawarkol area of Ghazipur. He was on his way back home after inaugurating a cricket tournament in Siyadi area,” he said.

“At least six assailants armed with AK-47 assault rifles surrounded two vehicles in which Rai and six of his associates were travelling and sprayed them with bullets in broad daylight,” he said.

Rai’s associates who died in the attack included Shyam Shankar Rai, Ramesh Rai, Akhilesh Rai, Sheshnath Patel, Munna Yadav and his gunner Nirbhay Narain Upadhyaya.

“The assailants were given specific tip off about Rai’s movement. They knew that Rai was not travelling in his bulletproof vehicle,” the officer said.

In the FIR, mafioso-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari and his brother Afzal Ansari were named as the main conspirators in the murder.

Police investigation also hinted at the involvement of gangster Prem Prakash Singh alias Munna Bajrangi, a close associate of the Ansari brothers.

Bajrangi was shot dead by another gangster Sunil Rathi inside Baghpat district jail on July 9, 2018.

The officer said Bajrangi and his accomplices Sanjeev Maheshwari alias Jeeva, Ramu Mallah, Ejaj-ul-Haq, Rakesh Pandey and Mansur Ansari had allegedly executed the crime.

Except Afzal Ansari, who is the sitting Bahujan Samaj Party MP from Ghazipur, all the other accused are lodged in separate jails in different cases.

On the demand of Rai’s wife Alka Rai, the Allahabad high court had ordered an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on May 23, 2006.

Later, the court trial was shifted outside Uttar Pradesh on Alka Rai’s plea on April 25, 2013. Since then, the case was being heard in a CBI court in Delhi.

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