How did don-turned-jailed Mukhtar Ansari die?

Mukhtar Ansari, a former gangster who transitioned into politics and was serving time in a jail in Uttar Pradesh, passed away on Thursday at a hospital in Banda. His brother, Afzal, alleged that Ansari was deliberately poisoned while in custody. Afzal stated to the media, “Mukhtar said that he was given a poisonous substance in food in jail. This happened for the second time. Around 40 days ago also he was given poison. And recently on March 19 and March 22, he was again given this (poison) due to which his condition deteriorated.” Despite these claims, the jail authorities have refuted the allegations. Other family members have also echoed similar accusations of Ansari being subjected to “slow poisoning” in jail.

Umar Ansari, Mukhtar Ansari’s son, expressed his distress over the situation, saying, “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. On March 19, he was poisoned in the dinner. We will move to the judiciary, we have full faith in it…”

Following Mukhtar Ansari’s demise, his body has been sent for post-mortem at Banda Medical College Hospital in Uttar Pradesh. The sequence of events leading to his death began with his admission to a hospital in Banda on Tuesday due to complaints of abdominal pain. After being discharged, he was later transferred to Uttar Pradesh’s Rani Durgawati Medical College. On Thursday, he was brought back to the hospital in an unconscious state and was pronounced dead due to a cardiac arrest.

Who was Mukhtar Ansari?

Mukhtar Ansari, aged 63, was a prominent figure in Uttar Pradesh politics, having served as a five-time MLA from Mau Sadar seat, including two terms as a Bahujan Samaj Party candidate. Known for his influence in Ghazipur, his hometown, Ansari had a long history of legal issues, with over 60 criminal cases pending against him. He was incarcerated in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab since 2005, with convictions in multiple cases over the years. Notably, he was sentenced to life imprisonment in a fake gun license case on March 13, 2024.

The Enforcement Directorate had also taken action against Ansari in the past, attaching assets and bank deposits worth over ₹73.43 lakh last year as part of a money laundering investigation. His death has now sparked controversy and raised questions about the circumstances leading to his demise.

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