Mukhtar Ansari's wife says she fears for his life, writes to President

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Lucknow, Mar 31 (PTI) Mukhtar Ansari's wife has written to President Ram Nath Kovind, expressing fears that the jailed mafia don-turned-politician might be killed in a fake encounter while being transferred from Punjab to Uttar Pradesh following a Supreme Court direction.

Her demand for security for the Bahujan Samaj Party legislator comes on a day the UP government accused the Congress of “shielding” mafia members.

Ansari is involved in cases both in BJP-run Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, which has a Congress government.

In its March 26 order, the Supreme Court said the MLA from Mau has to be transferred to Uttar Pradesh's Banda jail in two weeks.

“The number one mafia (member) is being brought back to UP and all arrangements are being made for this,' Uttar Pradesh minister and government spokesperson Siddharth Nath Singh said on Wednesday.

'Mafia members like Ansari are being shielded by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi and Capt Amarinder Singh's government in Punjab,' he alleged.

Afshan Ansari said she is frightened because of the past actions of some UP government officers and is deeply concerned about her husband’s safety.

In the letter released to the media on Wednesday, she claimed that her husband is an eyewitness in a case and the accused BJP legislator is threatening to kill him in connivance with the government machinery.

She said she fears that he might be killed 'in the guise of a fake encounter' during his transfer from Ropar jail in Punjab to UP’s Banda prison.

'If my husband is sent to Uttar Pradesh without fixing responsibility for the safety of his life, then surely he would be killed by creating a false story,” she wrote. 'Therefore, it is a plea to the President to order that my husband is protected.' She said if it is required to produce Ansari in court, the President should order the government to arrange central security force personnel to “accompany him from prison to court and back”.

Mukhtar Ansari has been in judicial custody since October 25, 2005 in connection with several criminal cases.

Alka Rai, the legislator wife of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai who was killed allegedly by the Mukhtar Ansari gang in 2005, had demanded his transfer to a jail in Uttar Pradesh.

While asserting that the law will take its own course when Ansari is back in UP, Cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh accused the Punjab government of “shielding” Ansari.

'But the Adityanath government will not spare any criminal. The erstwhile Samajwadi Party government had nurtured such elements and allowed them to proliferate, causing a headache for us,' he said.

He said the state government will take care of issues related to Ansari’s health.

Earlier in the day, Ansari was brought in a wheelchair to be produced before a court in Punjab’s Mohali in connection with a 2019 extortion case. The Punjab court fixed April 12 as the next date in that case.

In a related development, the Adityanath government has ordered the withdrawal of a case against former deputy superintendent of police Shailendra Singh who had slapped the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) on Ansari during the term of the SP government, an aide to CM Yogi Adityanath said.

A case of vandalism and assault was filed in 2004 against the former circle officer, who was allegedly made to resign under political pressure.

Singh thanked Adityanath, lauding his government’s “zero tolerance” against crime.

“My family and I shall forever remain indebted to CM Adityanath for his kindness. My heartfelt gratitude to all the well-wishers who have supported me during the struggle,' the former police officer posted on social media.

Last month, the apex court had noted that Ansari was allegedly involved in various cases including attempt to murder, murder, cheating and conspiracy registered in Uttar Pradesh, and out of them 10 are the stage of trial. PTI ABN SAB SMI CHS VSD DV RT ASH ASH ASH