The economic empire of the jailed mafia don-turned-MLA Mukhtar Ansari is now on the radar of the Uttar Pradesh Police.
Illegal slaughter houses, vehicle stands and other small businesses being run by members of the Mukhtar gang are now being subjected to raids.
The Mau police, last week, raided a slaughterhouse that was being operated illegally for the past 20 years. The police recovered 800 kg meat and over 20 animals from this spot. The police also arrested Shaqil Ahmed, Ikhlaq Ahmed, Javed Akhtar, Abiur Rehman and Azmal Qureshi.
Mau Superintendent of Police (SP) Anurag Arya said that three other accomplices of the arrested slaughterhouse operators had been identified and a cash reward of Rs 25,000 had been announced. He said that they would be arrested soon.
A fish mafia, Parasnath Sonkar, owing allegiance to Mukhtar Ansari has also been arrested.
Varanasi zone Additional Director General of Police Varanasi Brij Bhushan said, “Under the ongoing drive against gangs involved in organised crime, a sharp vigil is being kept on the wealth being generated by them by indulging in illegal activities. The involvement of any gangster in such activities will invite prompt action.”
According to him, process to book them all under the Gangster Act had also been started.
Last week, the Mau police had booked 11 Mukhtar gang members, including Surendra Singh, Saud Abbasi, Shivendra Kumar Singh, Samar Bahadur, Ashwini Kumar Singh, Jhinku Singh, Mahendra Chauhan, Makhanchu Yadav, Santosh Kumar, Mandhata Shukla and Dheeraj Rai.
SP Arya said that initially in 2019, three FIRs were lodged against the members of this gang with the City Kotwali, Sarai Lakhansi and Dakshin Tola police stations when it came to light that they had taken a contract of taxi stand from Nagar Palika for 2019-20., but were using it to extort money from all kinds of vehicles in the entire district.
A total of 11 members of the gang, including Suresh and Abbasi were sent to jail while the contract of Rs 65.51 lakh was cancelled.
However, when the process of floating fresh tender was initiated by Nagar Palika in November 2019 Dheeraj Rai, who also belongs to this gang, grabbed the contract by quoting the amount of Rs 75 lakh. Rai and his accomplice, Mandhata have also been sent to jail and booked under the Gangster Act.
The Mau police is also planning to take Mukhtar Ansari on remand in a five-month-old case lodged against him for recommending arms licenses to four, including a criminal who was later gunned down by the police.
Arya said that process to take Mukhtar on remand for interrogation in the case registered by the Dakshin Tola police, had also been initiated.
In 2001, Mukhtar had sent a letter on his official letter pad to the District Magistrate requesting issuance of arms licenses to four persons. The applicants had applied for arms licenses on fake address, which were shown as verified.
The episode came to light in December 2019 when the addresses were being reverified. One of the arms license holders had even been killed in a police encounter.
Mukhtar Ansari, a five term MLA, has been lodged in jail since 2005, in connection with the murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai. Though he was acquitted of the charges in this case by a special CBI court in Delhi in July last year, he remains behind the bars in other cases. He is presently lodged in the Ropar jail.
Mukhtar Ansari belongs to a very well-known political family in Uttar Pradesh. His grandfather Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari was once the national president of the Congress. The Ansaris are believed to have considerable influence in about 20 Assembly constituencies in Ghazipur, Mau, Azamgarh, Ballia and Varanasi.
His elder brother Afzal Ansari is a BSP MP.