NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday took custody of Mukhtar Ansari, leaving with him from Punjab’s Rupnagar jail in a convoy headed 900 km away for a prison in Banda where security has been tightened to hold the gangster-turned-politician.
The transfer of dreaded gangster and Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Mukhtar Ansari comes after a Supreme Court order approached by the Uttar Pradesh government which cited the series of criminal cases Ansari faces in his home state.
Transfer formalities took about two hours on Tuesday before he was handed over to the UP team at Rupnagar jail, where he has been lodged since January 2019 in connection with an extortion case.
The BSP MLA from Mau has been lodged in Rupnagar prison since January 2019 in connection with an extortion case.
According to the UP police, Ansari faces 52 cases in the state and elsewhere, and 15 of them are at the trial stage.
The police have, till now, arrested 96 criminals and seized, freed, or demolished property worth Rs 192 crore linked to the BSP MLA and his associates.
Ansari is also the prime accused in the 2005 murder of BJP legislator Krishnanand Rai.
Punjab’s home department had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to take Ansari’s custody by April 8, following the March 26 Supreme Court order that had set a two-week deadline.
The apex court had noted that Ansari was allegedly involved in cases of murder, attempt to murder, cheating and conspiracy, apart from offences under the Gangsters Act.
In 2010, Ansari was taken into custody for the murder of Ram Singh Maurya, who was a witness to the murder of Mannat Singh, a local contractor allegedly killed by Ansari’s goons in 2009.
Meanwhile, Mukhtar Ansari’s family members have said that they fear for his life in Uttar Pradesh.
Ansari will be kept in barrack number 15 of the Banda district jail. Additional police force has been deployed at the jail at the request of prison authorities.
The barrack will have a three-layer security. The outer security ring will be manned by two teams of civil police, each led by a sub-inspector and 10 armed constables.
The second security ring will comprise special CCTVs that have been installed at the entry points and a team of five jail officers which will keep an eye on the CCTV footage round-the-clock.
The third and innermost ring will comprise a team of jail warders. The 100-member police team that is in Ropar, is likely to return with the mafia don, late on Tuesday night.
(With agency inputs)