An ambulance that was being used to take gangster politician Mukhtar Ansari to a Mohali court was found abandoned near a roadside restaurant on the Chandigarh-Nangal highway in the Rupnagar district of Punjab, police said on Sunday. Rupnagar, deputy superintendent of Police TS Gill, said the vehicle had been taken into custody. Police said they received information about the ambulance, which has a UP registration number that is abandoned on the side of the road.
Mukhtar Ansari, the Mau Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA wanted for various crimes in Uttar Pradesh, was taken in an ambulance from Rupnagar Prison to a Mohali court in connection with a 2019 extortion case.
Amid tight security, Ansari was brought to court in a wheelchair on March 31. After the court appeared, he was sent back to Rupnagar Prison, where he has been housed since January 2019. According to the records, a case was registered with UPs Barabanki and the ambulance registration number was found to be fake, police said.
After the incident sparked controversy, a Punjab police officer clarified that a prison inmate can be transported in a private ambulance for medical reasons and that transportation costs must be borne by the prisoner. Under the Punjab Prisoners’ Rules (Presence in Court) of 1969, the police can allow a private vehicle at the request of the prisoner, the officer said.
The Supreme Court orders Ansari’s transfer
The Supreme Court recently ordered the Punjab government to hand over custody of Mukhtar Ansari to the Uttar Pradesh police. He decided that on trivial grounds, under the guise of medical problems, the transfer had been refused. The Supreme Court had also said that a convicted or underserved prisoner could not oppose being moved from one prison to another, and that the courts could not remain a helpless bystander when the rule of law is challenged with impunity
UP The police go to escort Mukhtar Ansari
The court ordered the Punjab government to hand Mukhtar Ansari’s custody over to the UP police within two weeks for detention in the Banda district prison. The Banda team, consisting of over 50 police officers, is ready to bring Ansari back to Uttar Pradesh. An ambulance with eight police vehicles has left Banda to escort the gangster politician. On Sunday evening it was decided that the team, led by a deputy SP, would pick up Ansari from Ropar prison in Punjab.
(With input from the agency)
(Image input from PTI)