Mukhtar Ansari brought back to Banda jail from Punjab prisonPTI | Banda | Updated: 07-04-2021 06:47 IST | Created: 07-04-2021 06:47 IST
Acting on a Supreme Court order, the Uttar Pradesh Police took custody of the 57-year-old BSP MLA at Rupnagar jail on Tuesday to bring him back to Banda prison. It took around two hours to complete the formalities before he was handed over to the UP Police after a medical check up.
Once the convoy entered the state on Tuesday evening, the fleet of security vehicles of the Uttar Pradesh Police, which included an ambulance equipped with all life-saving equipment to meet any exigency en route to Banda, a journey that takes around 14 hours from Ropar, and an anti-riot police vehicle 'Vajra' whizzed past the newly-laid expressways.
Before the convoy entered Banda jail at 4.30 am, it slowed down near Kanpur Dehat as some stray animals blocked the road along a patch of thick forest. Apart from the ambulance, three police vehicles also entered the Banda jail premises.
As anxious reporters ran to the policemen and sought the reasons for the sudden stoppage from them, no response was given, and the policemen at the spot tried to evade the questions posed by reporters.
Later, 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.'' Before this, around 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.
The convoy left the jail premises at 2:08 pm taking a side gate, dodging mediapersons waiting outside the main gate. As the convoy took the Ambala road, some media vehicles gave a chase but soon gave up.
The five-time MLA will cool his heels in barrack number 15 of the Banda district jail, where he was lodged in the past before being shifted to Punjab. Additional police force has been deployed at the jail at the request of prison authorities.
He will be guarded by three security personnel round-the-clock inside the barrack.
''In barrack number 15, where Ansari will be kept, arrangements for light, drinking water and cleanliness have been beefed up,'' he said.
Tiwari said access to the barrack has now been denied to other jail inmates.
The main prison complex gate, which generally remains open, will now be kept closed. Only those jail staff reporting for duty will be allowed in after proper screening, he added.
High towers have been put up outside the jail and extra police pickets have also been set up to keep a watch on every visitor.
Ansari was lodged in Rupnagar jail in January 2019 in connection with an extortion case.
The legislator from Mau in eastern Uttar Pradesh is facing 52 cases in the state and elsewhere, and 15 of them are in the trial stage.
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.
It said his custody was being denied to the Uttar Pradesh Police on trivial grounds under the guise of medical issues.
The SC 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 takes charge 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 a police encounter.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)