The wife of Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Mukhtar Ansari has moved the Supreme Court, seeking directions to the Uttar Pradesh Police and jail authorities to ensure that her husband gets a “free and fair trial” in the criminal case against him and does not end up being killed in a fake encounter, Bar & Bench reported on Tuesday.

In her plea, Mukhtar Ansari’s wife Afshan Ansari has urged the court to grant the gangster-turned-politician security and protection when he is shifted to Uttar Pradesh’s Banda jail, lodged there and when he is produced before the court. She has cited an imminent threat to Mukhtar Ansari’s life.

In her plea, Ansari’s wife claimed that various attempts were made to kill her husband and many threats were given to him. The plea alleged that Brajesh Singh, a member of the mafia and part of the Uttar Pradesh government, was conspiring to kill Mukhtar Ansari with the aid of the state government.

Last month, the Supreme Court had ordered Ansari’s transfer from Ropar Jail in Punjab to Uttar Pradesh’s Banda Jail. The Uttar Pradesh government had sought the transfer.

Ansari, a five-time MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Mau district, was lodged in Ropar jail for over two years at the time of the Supreme Court order. He was sent to custody in Punjab in connection with an extortion case.

Ansari is also an accused in the murder of former Uttar Pradesh MLA Krishna Nand Rai in 2005. He has avoided 26 warrants issued by a court in Prayagraj, citing medical reasons.

UP police take custody of Ansari, security tightened at Banda jail

The Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday took custody of Ansari from Punjab’s Rupnagar jail and left with him in a convoy headed 900 km away to Banda prison, reported PTI. Security has been tightened at the jail to hold the gangster-turned-politician.

Transfer formalities took about two hours on Tuesday before the MLA was handed over to the Uttar Pradesh team. A convoy of seven Uttar Pradesh police vehicles, including an ambulance and an anti-riot van, left the Rupnagar jail premises at 2.08 pm. The vehicles left through another gate while most of the media waited outside the main gate. The Punjab police had put up strict arrangements, including barricades, on the road leading to the jail.

An official said that Ansari will be kept in barrack number 15 of the Banda district jail when he arrives there on Wednesday morning. At the request of jail authorities, additional police force has been deployed at the prison. The official also said the MLA will be guarded by three security officials round the clock inside the barrack.

“Security personnel have been posted inside as well as outside the jail premises,” Banda jailor Pramod Tiwari said. He said access to the barrack has now been denied to other jail inmates.

Tiwari also said that the main prison complex gate, which generally remains open, will be kept shut. Only the jail staff reporting on duty will be allowed in after a proper screening is conducted, he added.

Lucknow court summons Ansari to frame charges in jail rioting case

A special MP-MLA court in Lucknow has summoned Ansari for framing charges on April 12 in a 21-year-old case in which jail officials were allegedly assaulted inside the Lucknow jail premises by the gangster-turned-politician and his associates.

Special judge PK Rai will also frame charges against co-accused Aalam, Yusuf Chisti, Kallu Pundit and Lalji Yadav. While Pandit and Yadav are out on bail, Chisti and Aalam are in judicial custody.

Charges could not be framed earlier as Ansari was not being produced before the court.

Jailer SN Dwivedi had lodged a first information report in the matter on April 3, 2000. It was alleged that Ansari’s men had assaulted one of the detainees.

As the violence broke out, Dwivedi, deputy jailer Baijnath Ram Chaurasia and others rushed tried to rescue the man. However, they were also assaulted in the ensuing chaos.