The Uttar Pradesh Police brought back Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Mukhtar Ansari to Banda prison from Punjab’s Rupnagar jail early on Wednesday, PTI reported.
The gangster-turned-politician, who was in an ambulance, was accompanied by an anti-riot vehicle and six police vans, according to The Times of India. The convoy covered an 882-kilometre-long journey lasting more than 16 hours.
Ansari was lodged in Banda jail’s barrack 15. Three officers were assigned for his round-the-clock security, according to PTI. Jail authorities, on orders from the Supreme Court, also formed a panel of four doctors to monitor his health.
The Uttar Pradesh Police had taken custody of Ansari on Tuesday. Transfer formalities took about two hours on Tuesday before the MLA was handed over to the Uttar Pradesh team. They left the Rupnagar jail premises at 2.08 pm.
Ansari, a five-time MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Mau district, was lodged in Ropar jail for over two years in connection with an extortion case. He is also an accused in the murder of former Uttar Pradesh MLA Krishna Nand Rai in 2005.
Last month, the Supreme Court had ordered Ansari’s transfer from the Ropar Jail to Banda Jail. The Adityanath-led government had told the court that many serious offences were pending against Ansari, and accused Punjab of protecting him on false medical grounds.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Ansari’s wife urged the Supreme Court to direct 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. She also requested the court to grant security to her husband, claiming that there was an imminent threat to his life.