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UP court orders magisterial probe into Mukhtar Ansari's death

Last updated on: March 29, 2024 23:24 IST

A magisterial inquiry was ordered Friday as opposition parties raised questions over the death of gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari, amid allegations by his family that he died due to 'slow poisoning' in Banda jail.

IMAGE: Gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari being produced in a court in Prayagraj on December 28, 2022. Photograph: ANI Photo

A panel of doctors conducted a post-mortem at Rani Durgavati Medical College in Banda, amid a security alert across several districts in Uttar Pradesh.


A long convoy of vehicles left the city in the evening with Ansari's body for his home district Ghazipur. It included 24 police vehicles, two others carrying family members and the ambulance with the body of the former legislator.

Banda chief judicial magistrate Bhagwan Das Gupta ordered the statutory magisterial probe, appointing additional chief judicial magistrate Garima Singh as the investigating officer. She has been asked to submit the probe report within a month.

Opposition parties are, however, demanding a CBI probe, or an inquiry that involves the higher judiciary. The BJP slammed them saying they have the habit of emotionally exploiting every issue to spoil communal harmony.

Ansari was brought to the Durgavati hospital from the district jail in "an unconscious state" at 8.25 pm on Thursday, and died there due to cardiac arrest, a medical bulletin had earlier said. A team of nine doctors attended on him.

Soon after the death, prohibitory orders banning large gatherings were clamped across the state. The UP Police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were deployed in strength in Banda, Mau, Ghazipur and Varanasi districts.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Ansari was admitted at the same hospital when he complained of abdominal pains, and was sent back to the prison after 14 hours.

His brother Afzal Ansari, who is also the Ghazipur MP, had made the poisoning charge then as well.

The allegations has been denied by the authorities.

In the evening, Ansari's body was headed for Mohammadabad Yusufpur township in Ghazipur district.

The police were on alert in districts that fall on the 400-km Banda-Ghazipur route, which runs through Fatehpur, Kaushambi, Prayagraj and Varanasi.

The burial at the family cemetery, where a grave was dug during the day for Ansari, was expected to take place Friday night or Saturday morning -- depending on how late the body arrived.

Shops in Mohammadabad remained closed during the day and many people gathered outside the Ansari family home. Gulab Ram, a former Ghazipur unit chief of the Bahujan Samaj Party, told PTI Videos that "people are heartbroken".

Ansari's son Umar Ansari had arrived at the Banda hospital past midnight Thursday.

"We got the news of his death only through the media. We will demand a high-level inquiry and do whatever we have to do through the court. We have full confidence in the court," he told reporters, levelling the poisoning charge again.

He also wrote to the Banda district magistrate, alleging that his father was killed in a planned manner and demanding that the postmortem be performed at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.

"We have no faith of getting justice from the administration and the doctors' team of Banda," his letter said.

Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav demanded a probe under the supervision of a Supreme Court judge.

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi said there should be an independent inquiry into the death.

Mayawati, whose BSP fielded him in Lok Sabha polls twice, said on X, "The persistent apprehension and serious allegations made by Mukhtar Ansari's family regarding his death in jail require a high-level investigation so that true facts of his death are be revealed."

Bhim Army founder Chandra Shekhar Aazad demanded a CBI investigation, saying Ansari has in the past expressed apprehension that he would be murdered.

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav said Constitutional institutions should take suo motu cognizance of such incidents.

Ansari had over 60 criminal cases pending against him. In 2005, he and his family were accused of murdering BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai.

Former Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi targeted opposition parties parties over their remarks. Krishnanand Rai's wife Alka Rai described Ansari's death as "divine justice"

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