Rajat Sharma


AKB30 Gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari was laid to rest in Ghazipur, UP, today in the presence of several thousand mourners. A huge contingent of police and armed forces was present to ensure that the funeral took place peacefully. There has been demands from several political parties for a top-level inquiry into the circumstances in which he suffered cardiac arrest in Banda jail and later died. The death must be probed and the real reason for his death must be made public. This will be in accoradance with the principles of natural justice and there are provisions in our law for this. Allegations have been made by Mukhtar’s family members that he was served food laced with slow poison in jail. But it will be unjustified to politicize the issue. As a gangster-turned-politician, Mukhtar Ansari got full protection during the regimes of Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati. He never followed rules and regulations. Who can forget that famous picture in which Mukhtar Ansari, in a jeep, holding a revolver and moving around the town after the 2005Mau riots. At that time, Mulayam Singh’s government was in power. In 2007, when Mukhtar was supposed to be in jail, he used to reach the office of DGP in a convoy of dozens of vehicles, twirling his moustache. At that time, Mayawati was the chief minister. Why didn’t anybody express apprehensions about the carriage of justice? Congress leaders are making remarks today on Mukhtar’s death, but it was Awadhesh Rai, the brother of current UP Congress chief Ajay Rai, who was brutally murdered in 1991 by Mukhtar Ansari’s henchmen. For 32 years, his family did not get justice. Why was no voice raised at that time? 32 years after the murder was committed, Mukhtar was sentenced to life imprisonment last year during Yogi Adityanath’s rule. In 2005, Mukhtar was in jail, and his henchmen murdered BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai and sic others showering bullets from AK-47 rifles. The lone witness to this mayhem, Shashikant Rai was also murdered in 2006. In contractor Manna Singh’s murder, the witness Ram Singh Maurya was also murdered. In 1988, he fled from police custody after firing on two policemen. The police officer who snatched an automatic rifles from Mukhtar’s men slapped POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) against him, but nothing happened to the gangster. Instead, the police officer had to leave his job. Mukhtar used to order murders while sitting inside jails. He had facilities like badminton court in one jail. There were 66 cases of murders, kidnapping, land grab and extortion against him, during the last 37 years. When Yogi Adityanath came to power, Punjab Police came and took Mukhtar away, but the Congress govt in Punjab refused to hand him over to UP police. UP government had to approach the Supreme Court, and ultimately he was brought to Banda jail, where he again resumed his criminal acts of ordering extortion and murder. UP police took action, and in the last five years, Mukhtar was convicted in eight cases which were nearly 30 years old. The process of justice had only begun. Mukhtar knew he would never be released from jail and the facilities that he hitherto enjoyed in jail, were withdrawn. He was worried, ill at the age of 63, he was suffering from sugar and heart problems. Hence, his death was not shocking. I don’t think there is any need to shed tear on the death of a hardcore criminal. For those who want to know the real cause of his death, they should wait for the judicial magistrate’s inquest report, instead of indulging in political mudslinging.

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