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After 27 months, Ansari returns to Banda jail

LUCKNOW/JHANSI: Twenty-seven months after being shifted to a jail in Punjab in connection with an extortion case, gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari finally returned to Banda prison early on Wednesday morning.
A convoy of six police vans and GPS-enabled Vajra vehicle accompanied the ambulance in which Mukhtar covered the 882km journey across three states in 16 hours.
Soon after his arrival at Banda, Mukhtar was lodged in tanhai barrack number 16 after being scanned by door frame metal detector, pole metal detector and hand-held metal detector. A team of doctors will ensure round-the-clock monitoring of the don’s health.
Earlier too, Mukhtar was lodged in tanhai barrack number 16 from 2017 to January 2019.
Mukhtar will remain under constant surveillance as CCTVs have been installed all around the barrack where he has been lodged.
Jail officials said that Mukhtar entered the prison around 5am and the team of doctors found him healthy. A team of doctors also collected his samples for Covid-19 test and the report turned out to be negative, jail officials said.
Mukhtar hails from Ghazipur district and is a history-sheeter from Mehmudabad police station with 52 cases in his name, of which 15 are pending before the court.
Earlier, the Punjab government had written to UP stating that it would transfer Mukhtar’s custody on or before April 8.
The two states have been at loggerheads over the transfer of custody and the matter was eventually sorted out by the Supreme Court which directed Punjab government to send Mukhtar back to UP.
Sources said when Mukhtar was lodged here in 2017, his family members had come to stay in Khaipaar locality which is barely a few kilometres away from the jail. They are likely to return here again, they added.
However, senior police officials said they did not have any information in this regard and said police teams were checking nearby areas, lodges, restrooms and guesthouses.
No criminal, big or small, will be spared: Yogi
Apparently referring to the return of don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari from Punjab to UP’s Banda jail, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said no criminal or mafia, however big, would be spared.
Addressing a rally in West Bengal on Wednesday, Yogi asked TMC workers to mend their ways or get ready to face “legal action for their wrongdoings”.
“There is still time to correct yourself. Stand with BJP workers and vote in our support. Else, law will catch up with you after May 2. You must have seen the developments in UP. No mafia, whatever be their influence, will be spared. We will find them and put them in jail,” Yogi said.

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