Dreaded gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari was brought back to Banda jail in Uttar Pradesh on early Wednesday morning after spending over two years in Punjab's Ropar prison, police said. Acting on a Supreme Court order, the UP Police took custody of the 57-year-old BSP legislator on Tuesday to bring him back to Banda prison.
A convoy of six police vans, a Vajra vehicle accompanied Ansari in an ambulance covering a distance of 882 km spanning three states for over a 16-hour journey. The five-time MLA arrived at Banda jail at 4:30 AM and was lodged in a common barrack. He also underwent a COVID-19 test at around 8 AM and will be later shifted to barrack number 15. “Security personnel has been posted inside as well as outside the jail premises,” said Banda jailor Pramod Tiwari.
Ansari will be guarded by three security personnel round-the-clock inside the barrack, he said. Besides, a panel of four doctors has been constituted on the apex court's directions to monitor Ansari's health. Ansari’s wife, however, refuting the claims wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, expressing fears that he might be killed in a fake encounter while being transferred from Punjab to Uttar Pradesh following the Supreme Court direction.
2:08 PM The convoy left the jail premises at 2:08 pm taking a side gate, dodging media persons waiting outside the main gate. As the convoy took the Ambala road, some media vehicles gave a chase but soon gave up.
6 PM The police convoy entered Uttar Pradesh through the Eastern Peripheral Expressway in Baghpat around 6.00 pm, Allahabad one additional Director General of Police Prem Prakash told PTI.
1.10 AM The convoy came to a halt on the road between Bhognipur and Ghatampur due to some stray animals. Initially, the speed of the vehicles was reduced, then the vehicles were stopped, and local police removed the stray animals, following which the convoy resumed its journey.
1.30 AM The police convoy in which Mukhtar Ansari was moving, was stopped for some time in the Satti police station area. SO of Satti police station Kapil Dubey told PTI, "Mukhtar used toilet in the Satti police station premises to attend nature's call. He stayed inside the police station for almost 5 minutes."
4:30 AM The Uttar Pradesh team had reached Rupnagar police lines and left for the jail around noon for the transfer.
A legislator from Mau in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Mukhtar Ansari is facing 52 cases in the state and elsewhere, and 15 of them are in the trial stage. In January 2019, he was lodged in Punjab's Rupnagar jail in connection with a mere extortion case.
The BJP-run Uttar Pradesh government accused the Congress government in Punjab of 'shielding' Ansari for several months by not letting the state take custody of the wanted gangster. The Yogi Adityanath Government claimed that Ansari's custody was being denied to the UP Police on trivial grounds 'under the guise of medical issues'.
Noting that Ansari was allegedly involved in cases of murder, attempt to murder, cheating and conspiracy, apart from offences under the Gangsters Act, the Supreme Court ordered his transfer to the UP jail on March 26. Punjab's home department asked the UP government to take Ansari's custody by April 8, following the Supreme Court order that had set a two-week deadline.
The Supreme Court also said a convict or an undertrial who disobeys the law of the land cannot oppose his transfer from one prison to another and the courts cannot be helpless bystanders when the rule of law is being challenged with impunity. As Uttar Pradesh took of the high-profile undertrial, his wife Afshan Ansari moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to the state authorities to ensure his safety, including from 'fake' a police encounter.