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UP don Mukhtar Ansari shunted back to Tihar jail
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | May 01, 2003 23:39 IST
Mukhtar Ansari, dreaded mafia don and independent MLA from Ghazipur (in eastern Uttar Pradesh), is back in Delhi's Tihar jail after his escapades in Lucknow embarrassed the powers-that-be.
Ansari was undergoing a ten-year sentence under the Terrorist Activities and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) in Tihar jail when he was shifted to the Lucknow district jail reportedly at the behest of none other Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.
The ostensible payback -- his support to her government. He had even reportedly mobilised the support of a couple of independent MLAs for the chief minister.
Lucknow district officials kept the mafia don, whose name spells terror in large parts of India's most populous state, in good humour owing to his proximity to the chief minister.
Hence, even after it became known that Ansari was roaming the streets of Lucknow at his sweet will by ensuring an out-pass citing 'illness', none dared to question him.
The 'illness' he cited was back ache, for which he wanted to consult experts at the King George's Medical College, now renamed as Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University.
Doctors and top officials are believed to have cooperated with Ansari in this game of deceit.
A photojournalist finally ended his run of good fortune.
It began with his foray into the state police chief's office around mid-April.
Out of jail on a medical pass, Ansari had gone to meet the DGP to make a recommendation for a sub-inspector's posting.
An alert photojournalist spotted him and clicked his picture.
Ansari got into a spat with the photojournalist threatening him with dire consequences if the picture was published.
But the story made headlines in Lucknow newspapers, causing much embarrassment not only to the police but also the chief minister.
Lucknow district police chief Anil Agarwal tried to do a quick cover-up by suspending a constable.
The jailor on duty discreetly proceeded on leave after the issue kicked up a storm.
It is believed that Mayawati had used her influence with Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani to get Ansari shifted from Tihar Jail to Lucknow.
The incident has hence caused much embarrassment to both Mayawati and Advani.
Ansari received the transfer order to Tihar around 1600 IST on Wednesday, but did not give in without resistance.
Realising that intimidation would no longer work, he tried feigning 'illness'.But he was eventually packed off to Tihar the same evening under heavy security.
More reports from Uttar Pradesh
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