While Ansari has been in jail for around 17 years, during which he has been in news for allegedly operating his gang from behind bars, over the last two years, he and his family members, including his wife, son, brother and close aides, have faced a string of criminal cases – seven of these cases are lodged against Ansari, two against his wife Afsha, four against elder son Abbas, two cases against younger son Umar, and two cases against Mukhtar’s two brothers-in-law Atif Raza alias Sharjil Raza and Anwar Shahzad. Except for Umar Ansari, all other persons are on the run and they have been declared proclaimed offenders by courts.
According to UP Police records, there are 59 cases in all against Ansari, with 20 of these filed while he was in jail. Four of these are cases of murder and seven under the UP Gangster Act.
The UP government has seized properties worth Rs 448.98 crore belonging to Ansari, his family members and associates. The government also demolished a hotel owned by the family in Ghazipur district, citing irregularities in the construction.
A look at the family and the cases they face:
Mukhtar Ansari: A native of Ghazipur in eastern UP, Ansari represented the Mau Sadar seat five times – twice as a BSP candidate and thrice as Independent. In 2010, after two straight Lok Sabha defeats while in the BSP, he floated his own political outfit, Quami Ekta Dal (QED), with his elder brother Afzal Ansari as its president. In the 2022 elections, he got his elder son Abbas to contest from Mau (Sadar) on a ticket of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), which had allied with the SP for the polls. Abbas defeated the BJP’s Ashok Kumar Singh.
Ansari’s nephew Suhaib Ali alias Mannu won the 2022 elections from Mohammadabad in Ghazipur on an SP ticket, defeating Alka Rai of the BJP.
Ansari has been in jail since October 2005, after he surrendered in a communal riot case in Mau in which seven persons died.
Besides this case being probed by the Uttar Pradesh Police, last year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) lodged a case against Ansari under the Money Laundering Act based on multiple cases registered by the UP Police of alleged land-grabbing and illegal businesses allegedly operated by Ansari and his gang members.
Two weeks ago, the ED raided a premises associated with Mukhtar’s elder brother Afzal, the BSP MP from Ghazipur.
Earlier, in 2020, the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) demolished two buildings registered in the name of the Ansaris. LDA officials said the buildings were constructed without an approved map and that the properties were constructed on “evacuee property”.
Ansari was in the news last year, when he was at the centre of a tug of war between the Punjab and UP governments. With Ansari lodged at Ropar jail in Punjab in connection with extortion and criminal intimidation, the UP government sought his custody. But with Punjab turning down the UP government’s request, citing the report of doctors who reportedly advised against long travel for Ansari who was suffering from back pain and high sugar levels, the Uttar Pradesh government moved the Supreme Court seeking his custody. The UP government had then alleged that the Punjab government was“shamelessly protecting” Ansari, who had to face trial “in 10 heinous cases of murder, extortion, cheating, fraud”, besides cases under the Gangster Act.
In April, the Supreme Court directed the Punjab government to hand over Ansari to Uttar Pradesh, and he was brought to the state amid tight security. He is now at Banda district jail in UP.
While he was lodged in the Punjab jail, the UP Police booked Ansari and others in a case related to submitting of fake documents for the registration of an ambulance that was allegedly used by Ansari to travel to a Mohali court from Roopar jail in Punjab.
During investigation, police found the ambulance was registered at the Road Transport Office in Barabanki, UP, in the name of Dr Alka Rai. The FIR says that a letter submitted during the registration said the ambulance would be attached to Sanjeevani Hospital and Research Center Private Limited in Mau district of UP, but was instead used by Ansari as his personal vehicle.
Abbas Ansari: Ansari’s elder son, 29, is wanted in a 2019 case of alleged fraud and violation of arms license filed at the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow. He has been absconding for over a month. Two days ago, the Lucknow Police declared Abbas a proclaimed offender.
During the elections earlier this year, Abbas and his younger brother Umar, besides 150 “unknown persons” were booked for allegedly violating the model code of conduct after a video emerged of Abbas purportedly threatening government officials during an election meeting. The two brothers were booked for criminal intimidation.
Afsha Ansari, Atif Raza alias Sharjil Raza and Anwar Shahzad: Ansari’s wife Afsha and her brothers Atif and Anwar are wanted in a case registered under the UP Gangster Act at Dakshin Tola police station in Mau this year. They are accused of illegally building a godown on land belonging to a Scheduled Caste villager at Raini.
“Raids are being conducted to trace the three accused. The court has declared them proclaimed offenders,”said Dakshin Tola SHO Anil Chand Tiwari.