Saturday, April 20, 2024

“Institutional murder”: Leaders, family raise concerns over Mukhtar Ansari’s death in jail, demand probe

From opposition leaders to his family members, many took to social media to mourn the death of Mukhtar Ansari, a five-time former MLA from Mau in eastern Uttar Pradesh and one of the senior Muslim politicians in the state, who died in jail on Thursday, and demand an independent investigation into it.

Ansari and his family members have repeatedly stated that his life is in danger, alleging a plan to kill him. They moved to the Supreme Court of India regarding this matter. Even two days before his death, he alleged he had been poisoned.

Ansari’s son Umar Ansari has claimed that his father was given poison in the food on March 19.

Umar said he was not informed about the death by the administration but he came to know about it through the media. He alleged that two days back, he went to meet Mukhtar but was not allowed.

“I was not told anything from the administration side, I came to know about it through the media… But now the whole nation knows everything… Two days ago I came to meet him, but I was not allowed… We said earlier also and even today we will say the same about the allegation of giving slow poison,” Umar told reporters.

“On March 19, he was poisoned in the dinner. We will move to the judiciary, we have full faith in it…” Umar said.

“A few days ago, he (Mukhtar Ansari) complained that he had been poisoned in jail, yet it was not taken seriously. Prima facie, this does not seem justifiable and humane. Constitutional institutions should take suo motu cognizance of such strange cases and incidents,” said RJD leader and former Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav.

“The people of Ghazipur lost their favorite son and brother. Mukhtar Saheb made serious allegations against the administration that he was poisoned. Despite this, the government did not pay any attention to his treatment. Condemnable and regrettable,” Asaduddin Owaisi MP, AIMIM chief, posted on X.

“Earlier, Mukhtar Ansari had expressed fear of his murder. I demand a CBI inquiry into his death from the Honourable Allahabad High Court, Uttar Pradesh,” demanded Azad Samaj Party chief Chandrashekhar Azad.

Former MP and Congress leader Pappu Yadav called Ansari’s death “institutional murder.” He said, “Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, take suo motu cognizance of this! There should be an impartial investigation within the guidelines. He was making allegations for several days that they are being given slow poison. His MP brother also made this allegation. A constitutional indelible stain on the country’s system!”

Two days before his death, Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Afzal Ansari, a former MP and Samajwadi Party candidate from Ghazipur in 2024, alleged that he was being poisoned in jail as part of a “conspiracy” to murder him. “Mukhtar Ansari was fed food mixed with a poisonous substance. There is a conspiracy to murder him in jail,” Afzal Ansari told reporters.

Three months before, Ansari moved the Supreme Court about the possibility that he may be eliminated in custody. Ansari’s younger son, Umar Ansari, had approached the top court apprehending that the state government was planning to assassinate his father in Banda jail where he was lodged as a convict and accused in several cases.

On 16 January this year, the apex court had directed the UP government to continue with all the security arrangements to ensure that Ansari “is fully protected from any security breach and consequences.” The court then listed the matter for the third week of July.

Meanwhile, Ansari’s body will be handed over the the family after postmortem. It will begin at 8 am and will continue till 11 am by a panel of two doctors at the Banda Medical College.

As per guidelines regarding death in jail, a three member committee has been formed on the directions of Banda DM for the magistrate enquiry in the death of Mukhtar Ansari.

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