Take custody of Mukhtar Ansari by Apr 8: Punjab to UP govt

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Barabanki/Ballia/Chandigarh, Apr 4 (PTI) Punjab's home department has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to take custody of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari from the Rupnagar jail on April 8, with BSP MP Afzal Ansari on Sunday saying that his brother''s 'safety' is now the responsibility of the judiciary and the Yogi Adityanath dispensation.

The police team that will bring Muktar Ansari to Uttar Pradesh will leave from Banda for Punjab on Monday, a senior police official said.

Mukhtar Ansari, who is wanted in various cases in Uttar Pradesh, has been lodged in the Rupnagar district jail in Punjab since January 2019 in connection with an alleged extortion case.

In a letter to the Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary (Home), the home department of Punjab asked for suitable arrangements to be made for the transfer of under-trial prisoner Mukhtar Ansari. 'The said handover is to be made at district jail Rupnagar on/before April 8,' the letter stated.

It also said that Mukhtar Ansari suffers from certain medical conditions and the same may be kept in mind while making arrangements for his transport from Rupnagar jail to Banda jail in Uttar Pradesh.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Chitrakoot Range, Dham K Satyanarayan told reporters in Banda that the police team will be sent from Banda on Monday to bring him. Where Mukhtar Ansari will be kept in the jail, will be decided in a meeting, he said.

Confirming the development, Additional Director General of Police, Allahabad Zone, Prem Prakash said the team will leave on Monday morning and there will be an ambulance. Afzal Ansari, who is the MP from Ghazipur, told PTI, 'The safety of Mukhtar after he comes to the Uttar Pradesh jail is that of the judiciary and of the Yogi Adityanath government. The court should monitor the safety and medical facilities given to Mukhtar.' He also said that the safety of life of any citizen is the responsibility of the government.

'This duty increases by twice when the prisoner is in judicial custody and by four times, when the state government files a petition in the Supreme Court saying that the hearing of the case is getting affected,' the MP said.

IGP Satyanarayan said that details about jail visitors and inmates will be maintained on a daily basis.

'Tab will be kept on people coming from outside to neighbouring districts such as Hamirpur, Chitrakoot. Information will also be gathered about people living in rented accommodations,' he said.

To a question of deployment of additional force around the jail, the IGP said that it will be done as per the demand of the jail superintendent.

In its letter, the Punjab home department referred to the March 26 Supreme Court order that had directed the state government to transfer the BSP's MLA from Mau, Mukhtar Ansari, to Uttar Pradesh''s Banda jail in two weeks.

Delivering the order, the apex court had also noted that Mukhtar Ansari was allegedly involved in various cases of attempt to murder, murder, cheating and conspiracy apart from offences under the Gangsters Act, lodged in Uttar Pradesh and 10 of these cases are at different stages of trial.

The Uttar Pradesh Police, officials said on Sunday, has set up a special investigation team (SIT) to further probe into the issue of fake documents of the ambulance which was used to ferry Mukhtar Ansari from the Rupnagar jail to a Mohali court recently.

Barabanki Superintendent of Police Yamuna Prasad on Sunday said the SIT has been constituted under the additional superintendent of police (north).

BSP MP Afzal Ansari said his brother had nothing to do with the ambulance case. 'The reports of Mukhtar purchasing the ambulance using his MLA funds is false. Had it been the case, it could have been ascertained by going through the government documents,' he said.

On April 2, a case was registered in Barabanki after the documents of the ambulance bearing a Uttar Pradesh registration number were found to be fake.

Mukhtar Ansari was on March 31 produced before the Mohali court in connection with the alleged 2019 extortion matter.

Amid tight security arrangements, Ansari was taken into the court in a wheelchair. He was sent back to the Rupnagar jail in the ambulance after the appearance.

'After an initial probe, the name and address given for the registration of the ambulance were found to be false. An FIR in this regard has been registered by an additional road transport officer against Dr Alka Rai, whose name was given for the registration of the ambulance,' a senior police official said in Barabanki.

The FIR was registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 420 (forgery), 471 (fraudulently or dishonestly using documents as genuine), 467 (forgery of valuable security) and 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating).

SP Yamuna Prasad had said that acting on media reports that Ansari was produced in a court in Punjab on an ambulance with the registration number of Barabanki, police teams probed the matter and found that documents such as PAN, electoral photo id card and others were fake.

The address on which these documents were made was also found to be wrong, he said.

Amid a row over the issue, a Punjab police official had clarified that an inmate can be transported in a private ambulance on medical grounds and the cost of conveyance has to be borne by the prisoner.

According to the Punjab Prisoners (Attendance in Court) Rules, 1969, the police team can allow a private vehicle on the request of a prisoner, the official added. It was also clarified that ambulance in which Mukhtar Ansari was taken to the court on March 31, was not a bullet-proof vehicle. PTI CORR NAV CHS VSD ANB ANB ANB ANB