Jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari was today convicted by a court in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi in a 32-year-old murder case and sentenced to life in prison. A five-time MLA, Ansari has been charged with the murder of a Congress leader in 1991, when he was starting to gain political prominence. On August 3, 1991, Congress leader and brother of former MLA Ajay Rai, Awadhesh Rai, was shot dead outside Ajay Rai’s house in Varanasi. Mukhtar Ansari was not an MLA when he committed the crime
Mr. Rai had named Mukhtar Ansari, Bhim Singh, former MLA Abdul Kalim, and two others, in the FIR. This is Ansari’s sixth conviction in the 61 criminal cases against him. 20 other cases against him are pending trial in various parts of the state
A five-term MLA, Mukhtar Ansari was handed a 10-year jail term in another kidnapping and murder case this April.
The Varanasi MP MLA court concluded the hearing in the Awadhesh Rai case after final arguments on May 19, reserved its order, and fixed June 5 as the date to deliver it.
The investigation of the case was handed over to the CB-CID.
Mukhtar Ansari won assembly elections five times – 1996, 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017. The last three victories came while he was in jail.
His son Abbas Ansari won the Uttar Pradesh assembly election from his stronghold Mau Sadar in 2022 from the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP).
Mukhtar Ansari’s name first came to the fore in the 1988 case of the murder of local contractor Sachchidanand Rai. He is believed to have stepped into the world of crime after this murder, and a long list of victims followed. Almost 60 criminal cases — of land grabbing, murder and extortion — are registered against him.
Mukhtar Ansari was also accused in what is perhaps the most sensational political murder in Uttar Pradesh’s history. He allegedly killed BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai with an AK-47 rifle in November 2005. 400 bullet shells were reportedly recovered from the spot. As many as 21 bullets were recovered from Rai’s body.
In 2010, Ansari was booked for the murder of Ram Singh Maurya. Maurya was a witness to the murder of Mannat Singh, a local contractor allegedly killed by Ansari’s gang in 2009.