Gangster-Leader Mukhtar Ansari: A Life of Crime and Politics

Mukhtar Ansari

Lucknow: Mukhtar Ansari, a gangster leader synonymous with terror in many districts of Uttar Pradesh, passed away due to a heart attack in a hospital in Banda on Thursday. With Ansari’s death, an era of crime and a fascinating chapter in the nexus between crime and politics has finally come to an end. Despite facing 65 cases ranging from murder to extortion, Ansari remarkably managed to be elected as an MLA five times, representing different political parties.

Early Years and Entry into Crime

The story of Mukhtar Ansari begins in the year 1963. Born into an influential family, he entered the world of crime with the goal of establishing himself and his gang in the government contract mafia that flourished in the state. Crime became more than a means to an end; it became his hobby. In 1978, at the young age of 15, Ansari and Mukhtar embarked on their criminal journey. The first case against Ansari was registered under Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code at Saidpur police station in Ghazipur.

The Decade of 1986 and Mukhtar’s ‘Bhaukaal’

Nearly a decade later, in 1986, Mukhtar Ansari had become a well-known figure in the contract mafia. Another FIR was registered against him, this time under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code at Ghazipur’s Mohammadabad police station. Over the next ten years, he continued to engage in heinous crimes, accumulating at least 14 more cases against him.

From Crime to Politics

Despite his criminal reputation, Ansari’s stature grew, and he made a seamless transition into politics. He was first elected as an MLA from Mau in 1996 on the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket. His winning streak continued in the 2002 and 2007 assembly elections as an independent candidate. In 2012, Ansari formed the Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED) and secured victory once again from Mau. In 2017, he contested elections from the same seat and emerged victorious. In 2022, Mukhtar Ansari stepped aside, allowing his son Abbas Ansari to win from Mau on the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party ticket.

Counting the ‘Sins’

Mukhtar Ansari spent the last 19 years in various jails across Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Since 2005, he faced 28 cases registered under the Murder and Gangster Act, resulting in convictions in eight criminal cases since September 2022. Currently, 21 cases are pending against him in various courts. Earlier this month, the Varanasi MP/MLA court sentenced him to life imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 2.02 lakh for fraudulently obtaining an arms license nearly 37 years ago.

The ‘Yogi’ Government’s Crackdown

This marked the eighth case in the last 18 months, during which various courts in Uttar Pradesh sentenced him. The second case resulting in life imprisonment was related to the murder of former MLA Krishnanand Rai in Ghazipur district on November 29, 2005, and the kidnapping and murder of businessman Nand Kishore Rungta alias Nandu Babu in Varanasi on January 22, 1997.

Mukhtar Ansari

On December 15, 2023, the Varanasi MP/MLA court sentenced Ansari to five years and six months in jail for the kidnapping and murder of BJP leader and coal businessman Nand Kishore Rungta. Similarly, on October 27, 2023, the Ghazipur MP/MLA court sentenced him to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs five lakh in a case registered under the Gangster Act in 2010. On June 5, 2023, an MP/MLA court in Varanasi handed down a life sentence for the murder of Awadhesh Rai, elder brother of former Congress MLA and current Uttar Pradesh Congress President Ajay Rai.