Varanasi: A special MP/MLA court in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi on Monday sentenced gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari to life imprisonment in connection with the 32-year-old case of the murder of Congress leader Awadhesh Rai. The court also slapped a fine of Rs 1,00,000 on the gangster politician. The special MP/MLA court earlier in the day found Mukhtar guilty in the Awadhesh Rai murder case.
Ansari was presented before the court through video conference where the court convicted him under Sections 145 and 302. The Special Court concluded the hearing after arguments on May 19, reserved its order, and fixed June 5 as the date to deliver it.
Reacting to the development, the late Congress leader’s wife Ajay Rai said, “This is the end of our many years of waiting. I, my parents, Awadhesh’s daughter and the whole family kept patience… Governments came and went, and Mukhtar strengthened himself. But we did not give up. Because of our lawyers’ efforts, today the court has found Mukhtar guilty in the murder case of my brother.”
What Happened In 1991?
Awadhesh Rai, the brother of Congress leader Ajay Rai, was shot dead in broad daylight on August 3, 1991, at the gate of his Lahurabir residence in Varanasi. A case in the matter was registered against Mukhtar Ansari and others. According to the case file, Congress leader Ajay Rai and his brother Awadhesh were standing at the gate of their house in Varanasi when some assailants, including Mukhtar Ansari, came there in a car and shot Awadhesh.
Ajay Rai fired from his licensed pistol in retaliation, following which the assailants fled, leaving the car behind. Awadhesh, who was seriously injured, was rushed to a hospital in Kabirchaura, where doctors declared him dead.
After his brother’s sensational murder, Ajay Singh filed an FIR at Chetganj police station of Varanasi and named mafia Mukhtar Ansari. MLAs Abdul Kalam, Bhim Singh, Kamlesh Singh and Rakesh Srivastava alias Rakesh Justice were also named as accused in the case.
It is believed that Mukhtar Ansari while languishing in jail, used his clout to temper with the evidence and get the original case diary to disappear from the court. Later, a case in this regard was filed by the Varanasi police against Mukhtar Ansari. At present, Mukhtar Ansari and Bhim Singh are lodged in jail. Whereas former MLAs Abdul Kalam and Kamlesh Singh have died.
On May 17, a Ghazipur MP/MLA Court acquitted Mukhtar Ansari accused in a case of conspiracy of a murder attempt in Uttar Pradesh’s Mohammadabad area in the district. In 2009, Mir Hasan filed a case of attempt to murder against Ansari under 120B. A case under section 307 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against Ansari at Mohammadabad police station in Ghazipur.
In December last year, Mukhtar Ansari was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by a court in Ghazipur. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on him. Mukhtar Ansari and Bhim Singh were convicted under the Gangster Act.
The court pronounced its verdict in the 1996 gangster case against MLA Mukhtar Ansari. Ansari, a five-time MLA from Mau Sadar seat, did not contest the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election and the seat was won by his son Abbas Ansari on a ticket from the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, which had tied up with the Samajwadi Party.