UPDATED: April 6, 2021 14:30 IST
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader and MLA from Mau Mukhtar Ansari will be back in Uttar Pradesh, where he faces a number of criminal cases. Mukhtar Ansari will be kept in barrack number 15 of Banda jail in Uttar Pradesh.
Ansari was lodged at Ropar jail in Punjab for the past two years in a case of alleged extortion.
Banda jail is often referred to as “kaala paani” (the other name for the Cellular Jail in Andaman and Nicobar Islands during the British rule) as several dreaded criminals, dons and dacoits of the Chambal Valley have been lodged in this prison.
Among the big names who have been lodged at Banda jail are Kunda MLA Raja Bhaiya alias Raghuraj Pratap Singh (Independent legislator), Ateeq Ahmad (don-turned-politician who won Allahabad West assembly seat for five consecutive terms), former MLA Purushottam Dwivedi and Noida’s dreaded gangster Anil Dujana.
Dacoits Dadua and Balkhadiya, who had a reward of Rs 7 lakh on his head, were also lodged here. They were among the criminals who were part of one or the other dacoit gang. That had a reign of terror in the forest areas of the Chambal and Patha.
Mukhtar Ansari was kept at Banda jail before he was arrested by the Punjab police and taken to Ropar jail.
When Mukhtar Ansari was brought to Banda jail in 2017, he had been kept in the same barrack, which prison sources said was the most secure part of the prison. Sources said Mukhtar Ansari enjoyed the luxury of having a power generator for himself in the jail earlier, but it looks an unlikely privilege that the Yogi Adityanath government would extend to him this time around.
This prison has a capacity of housing 600 inmates. But around 1,200 prisoners, including undertrials, are lodged in the Banda jail currently.
Banda is part of the Bundelkhand region that lies in Uttar Pradesh. Bundelkhand is one of the backward regions on development parameters. The overcrowding of Banda jail makes it difficult for the authorities to manage high-profile prisoners.
Earlier in the day, top district and police officers, including the inspector general, district magistrate Anand Kumar Singh and superintendent of police SS Meena. Inspected the preparations for bringing Mukhtar Ansari back to Banda jail. Security arrangements have been beefed up. Security personnel have been deployed on the jail’s perimeter at every 10-15 feet.