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Shutters down in Mukhtar Ansari's native place Ghazipur as people wait for his body to arrive


GHAZIPUR: Shops remained closed on Friday in Mohammadabad Yusufpur township in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh, the native place of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari who died of a cardiac arrest a day before.

After the completion of postmortem, Mukhtar Ansari's body on Friday left for Ghazipur amidst heavy security from Banda which is about 400 km from Ghazipur, police officials said.

The ambulance carrying the body was accompanied by police vehicles to ensure security along the 400-kilometre-long route via several districts of Uttar Pradesh.

As per police officials, Mukhtar Ansari's son Umar Ansari and Abbas Ansari's wife were present inside the ambulance carrying the body.

The state government had in advance chalked out the route for taking the body following the gangster's death due to cardiac arrest on Thursday.

On the way to Ghazipur, the convoy will pass through districts including Prayagraj, Bhadohi, Kaushambi and Varanasi before reaching Ghazipur.

As per the family members of Mukhtar Ansari, the cremation will take place in Ghazipur. A large number of security personnel have been deployed in the area to maintain law and order.

People were seen waiting for the arrival of body of the five-time MLA, who was rushed to a hospital from the Banda jail on Thursday after his health condition deteriorated. Ansari died at the hospital during treatment.

A grave has been dug at the Ansari family's burial ground in Kali Bagh for the last rites, Circle Officer (CO) Atar Singh and Pawan Kumar Upadhyaya, an inspector attached to the Mohammadabad police station, said.

They said Ansari's family members have informed them that the last rites will be performed on Friday if the body reaches in Ghazipur by 10 pm. Otherwise, the last rites would be performed on Saturday morning.

Ansari's lawyer Naseem Haider said the body is likely to reach Ghazipur late at night.

Ansari's son Umar wrote a letter to the Banda district magistrate, alleging that his father was killed in a planned manner and demanding that the post-mortem be performed at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.

"We have no faith of getting justice from the administration and doctors' team of Banda," Umar Ansari wrote in the letter.

Ansari's political rivals have, however, reacted sharply to his death, saying "as you sow, so shall you reap" and that justice has been delivered.

People started gathering at Ansari's residence in Mohammadabad Yusufpur since the morning.

Gulab Ram, the former Ghazipur unit chief of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), told PTI Videos that "people are heartbroken".

"Shops are closed. He (Ansari) used to be with people in their happiness and sorrow," Ram said.

The councillor of ward number 25, Lohatia Sanjeev Kumar Gihar, told reporters that "no call was given by anyone for the closure of shops. People have kept the shutters down out of sympathy. I was myself a victim of Mukhtar Ansari. It is jaisi karni waisi bharni".

Anand Rai, the nephew of Mohammadabad's former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Krishnanand Rai, who was killed in 2005, told reporters that "der hai andher nahin (this is god's justice)".

In 2005, Ansari and his family members were named as accused in the killing of Krishnanand Rai.

Security personnel have been put on alert in Mau, an official said, adding that prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have been issued in Mau, Ghazipur, Ballia and the surrounding areas.

According to the news received from Bhadohi, security arrangements have been tightened along the national highway as Ansari's body will be taken through this route.

Circle officer (CO), Traffic Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Pandey said the convoy carrying the body will pass through densely-populated areas along the highway and security personnel in large numbers have been deployed to prevent any kind of disturbance.

The administration is in full alert in Ballia, the district adjacent to Ghazipur.

District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar said all administrative officers have been instructed to remain alert.

Additional Superintendent of Police Durga Prasad Tiwari said all police officers have been asked to take rounds of the area.

Meanwhile in Badaun, Shivpal Singh Yadav, the Samajwadi Party's (SP) nominee from the Badaun seat in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, said the court should take cognisance of Ansari's death in "suspicious" circumstances.

Yadav said he has good relations with Ansari's family.

Ansari's family had fought for the country's freedom, the SP leader said, adding that the court should take suo-motu cognisance of his death.