Mukhtar Ansari gets five-and-half year jail term, Rs 10,000 fine in intimidation case of 1997

Of over 60 cases of criminal offenses lodged against Ansari, hearings in at least 40 in different courts of Varanasi, Ghazipur, Mau, and other districts are underway.
Gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari. (File photo | PTI)
Gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari. (File photo | PTI)

LUCKNOW: Gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari was awarded five and half years imprisonment and a penalty of Rs 10,000 by the Upper Civil Judge (senior division) / special additional judicial magistrate (MP/MLA) Ujjwal Upadhyaya, on Friday, in connection with the case of intimidating brother of VHP treasurer Nanad Kishore Rungta following the abduction of the latter in 1997.

It is the seventh sentence to Mukhtar since September 2022. Currently, he is lodged in Banda district jail and serving a life term in the Awdhesh Rai murder case of 1991. Of over 60 cases of criminal offenses lodged against him, hearings in at least 40 in different courts of Varanasi, Ghazipur, Mau, and other districts are underway.

Providing details of this judgment, in-charge additional director (prosecution) Harikishore Singh claimed that the gangster-turned-politician was convicted under Section 506 of IPC. The 48-page judgment said that the term of imprisonment would run concurrently with other jail terms awarded to the accused earlier.

Mukhtar had appeared before the court through video conferencing during the hearing and pronouncement of the verdict. It may be recalled that Rungta, a VHP functionary, was abducted from his Varanasi office on January 22, 1997.

Despite paying Rs 1.25 crore as ransom to the abductors, he never returned home and it always remained a mystery if he was dead or alive. In November 1997, Rungta’s brother Mahavir Prasad lodged an FIR at Bhelupur police station in Varanasi alleging that on November 5, 1997, he got a call from Mukhtar Ansari on his landline number.

During the conversation, Mukhtar threatened to blast him and his house if he did not stop pursuing the abduction case of his brother in court and in CBI. The CBI probe into Rungta's abduction case had already been accepted on the application of his wife. Consequently, the Gangster Act was invoked against Mukhtar in 2007 in connection with the Rungta abduction case of 1997 and the BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai murder case of 2005.

Mukhtar’s brother Afzal Ansari was also included in the gang chart prepared following the Krishnanad Rai murder case. During the trial, Mukhtar, on August 10, this year, had denied making any phone call to Mahavir Prasad claiming that he had been acquitted in the Rungta abduction case by the court concerned and charges of intimidation were framed on him owing to enmity.

On April 29 this year, Mukhtar was awarded 10 years’ imprisonment in the Gangster Act case lodged against him in 2007 while his brother and co-accused Afzal Ansari was also given four-year imprisonment after which he lost his membership from Parliament. Afzal Ansari is a sitting BSP MP from Ghazipur.

However, in the latest development, the Supreme Court of India, on Thursday, conditionally suspended the conviction of Afzal Ansari in the 2007 Gangsters Act case.

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