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Why even ‘Bahubalis’ dread the Banda jail

During incarceration in Banda jail the ‘Bahubalis’ use various tricks to get shifted to another jail or get themselves admitted in hospital in a bid to stay away from it.

lucknow Updated: Jan 12, 2018 12:47 IST
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Bahubalis,Banda jail,Uttar Pradesh
The entrance of Banda jail.(HT Photo)

It is said that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. But when it comes to the Banda district jail, even the ‘Bahubalis’ want to stay away from it.

A senior police officer, posted in Banda, said since the jail is located on the outskirts of the town, its inmates have to brave extreme climatic conditions during summer and winter. “Besides, it lacks facilities, is stuffed much beyond capacity and houses dreaded dacoits who cause trouble for ‘Bahubalis’,” said the officer who did not want to be named.

The latest case of Mafioso-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari complaining of chest pain and being admitted to SGPGI, Lucknow hints towards the ‘fear’ of the Banda jail among its inmates.

Not only Ansari but the likes of Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, Anil Dujana, Purushottam Naresh Dewedi, Atiq Ahmad and Sundar Bhati, who are feared in their areas, hate the jail.

During incarceration in this jail the ‘Bahubalis’ use various tricks to get shifted to another jail or get themselves admitted in hospital in a bid to stay away from it.

“The jail was upgraded to divisional jail level without improving facilities in it. Often the undertrials have to fetch potable water from outside the jail premises. The capacity of the prison is 600 but about 1,400 undertrials are lodged in it,” said the officer.

What the ‘Bahubalis’ fear most is that several notorious dacoits are lodged in the jail. Some of them are: Radhey Yadav, Goppa Yadav, Tohini alias Tehsildar, Deepak Patel, Naresh Patel and Gyan Singh. They are active in the Bundelkhand region and are lodged in Banda jail. Though rivals in the jungle, these dacoits are united in the jail. “They do not permit outsiders to dominate and often attack them,” the officer said.

When Ansari, a BSP MLA, complained of severe chest pain on Tuesday, the Banda administration immediately shifted him to SGPGI, Lucknow. However, the report of doctors on Thursday that angiography of Ansari was normal has sent him back behind bars in Banda jail. His family members protested but the administration remained unmoved.

The state government has sought reports from Banda district magistrate Mahendra Bahadur Singh and superintendent of police Shalini (she goes by one name) on the issue as it feels that the chest pain case might be another ploy of Ansari to shift from the Banda jail. In 2005 he was shifted from Lucknow jail to the city’s King George’s Medical University (KGMU).

In 2002 when independent MLA from Kunda Raja Bhaiya was put in Banda jail by the then BSP government, his supporters moved a petition before the state government to shift him to another prison.

In 2003, when Mulayam Singh Yadav became chief minister he went to Banda and announced the release of Raja Bhaiya at a public meeting.

In 2012 when Raja Bhaiya was made prisons minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government, he recounted his tough days in Banda prison during a debate on the floor of the legislative assembly.

Notorious gangsters of West UP Anil Dujana and Sunder Bhati, too, used their political connection to shift to another jail in Central UP. Former BSP MLA Purushottam Naresh Dewedi was resident of Banda yet his family members moved a petition to shift him to another jail after he was arrested in a rape case.

Atiq too moved a petition seeking transfer from Banda jail.

Read more: BSP leader Mukhtar Ansari suffers heart attack in UP jail, hospitalised

Talking to HT on phone, superintendent of Banda jail Ram Sewak said Ansari has been lodged in an isolated high security cell. The clinic located in the prison runs round-the-clock and if required we call senior doctors from the district hospital, he said.

First Published: Jan 12, 2018 12:47 IST