Ansari, Notorious Political Figure, Dies After Cardiac Arrest

The passing of a politician who rose from a gangster background in Uttar Pradesh has been announced, with authorities citing cardiac arrest as the cause of death on Thursday.

A well-known politician, Mukhtar Ansari, aged 63, served as a lawmaker five times in Uttar Pradesh before his imprisonment in 2005. His family’s assertion challenges the reported circumstances of his death, claiming he was subjected to poisonous substances during his incarceration.

With crowds flocking outside Ansari’s residence following news of his demise, police heightened security measures across the state. Ansari, a former gang leader in the 1990s, faced over 60 criminal charges, including 15 counts of murder.

Ansari’s entry into politics saw him emerge victorious in the 1996 state elections in Mau, his hometown constituency. He upheld his position as a legislator for the region until 2022, maintaining a consistent presence in the political sphere.

In April 2023, he was found culpable for the assassination of Krishnanand Rai, a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and received a 10-year imprisonment verdict.

He received a life sentence earlier this month for a 1990 case involving fake arms licenses.

On Thursday, jail authorities in Banda district said Ansari was taken to hospital after he complained of vomiting.

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“The patient was provided immediate medical care by a team of nine doctors,” a medical bulletin by the Rani Durgavati Medical College said. “But, despite their best efforts, he died due to a cardiac arrest.”

Ansari’s brother Afzal Ansari, an MP from the state, alleged that he was poisoned.

“Mukhtar said that he was given a poisonous substance in food in jail,” Mr Ansari told reporters on Thursday.

“This happened for the second time. Around 40 days ago also he was given poison. And recently on 19 March and 22 March , he was again given this [poison] due to which his condition deteriorated.”

The jail administration confirmed that Ansari had to be hospitalized on Tuesday due to an incident in the restroom.

They explained in a statement that he received initial medical attention at the jail before being transferred to the hospital for further treatment. He was discharged after a 14-hour period.

Thursday saw the announcement of Ansari’s passing, prompting Uttar Pradesh police to issue curfew orders across the state and carry out flag marches in specific districts.

Umar Ansari, son of Ansari, stated that he was informed about his father’s worsening health condition through media reports and had not been contacted by authorities before his demise.

“Two days ago, I came to meet him, but I was not allowed [to],” he said.

Friday has been arranged for Ansari’s post-mortem examination.

Africa Today News, New York

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