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Mukhtar Ansari Dies of Cardiac Arrest, Controversy Surrounds Allegations of Poisoning

Allegations of foul play surface as Mukhtar Ansari, a notorious figure in Uttar Pradesh politics, dies of cardiac arrest, prompting a magisterial investigation into claims of "slow poisoning" during his incarceration.

Banda, Uttar Pradesh – March 28, 2024: In a dramatic turn of events, Mukhtar Ansari, a notorious figure in Uttar Pradesh’s political landscape, passed away on Thursday due to cardiac arrest. Ansari, who had been incarcerated since 2005, was rushed to the Rani Durgawati Medical College in Banda district after he was found unconscious. Despite efforts by a team of nine doctors, Ansari could not be revived and succumbed to cardiac arrest, as confirmed by the medical bulletin.

The 63-year-old Mukhtar Ansari, a five-time former MLA, was no stranger to controversy and legal entanglements. Facing over five dozen criminal cases, he had been embroiled in legal battles for nearly two decades. Notorious for his alleged involvement in criminal activities, Ansari wielded significant influence in the Ghazipur-Mau-Varanasi region of eastern Uttar Pradesh, purportedly through a criminal syndicate. His clashes with rival strongmen in the area were well-documented.

Over the past 18 months, Ansari had faced numerous convictions, including a life sentence in June 2023 for the murder of Awadhesh Rai, brother of Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Rai. Additionally, he was handed a 10-year imprisonment term in April 2023 for his involvement in the kidnapping of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Nand Kishore Rungta and the 2005 murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai.

Controversy engulfed Ansari’s demise as his family alleged foul play, asserting that he had been subjected to “slow poisoning” during his incarceration. His son, Umar Ansari, and brother, Ghazipur MP Afzal Ansari, made these claims, prompting a magisterial investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.

An application submitted by Ansari himself in a Barabanki court last week claimed that he had been served a “poisonous substance” with his food, resulting in severe discomfort. Despite these allegations, authorities have denied any wrongdoing.

The Uttar Pradesh Police has implemented prohibitory orders across the state to avert any potential unrest following Ansari’s demise. Sections 144 have been imposed, prohibiting large gatherings, with additional security deployments in Banda, Mau, Ghazipur, and Varanasi districts.

Political figures weighed in on the controversy, with leaders such as AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tejashwi Yadav, and the Samajwadi Party criticizing the government’s handling of Ansari’s health concerns.

As preparations are made for Ansari’s cremation, his death marks the end of a tumultuous chapter in Uttar Pradesh’s political history. Born into a family with a legacy tied to the Indian National Congress, Ansari’s journey from politics to criminality leaves behind a complex legacy, stirring debate and raising questions about the intersection of power, crime, and governance in Indian politics.

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