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From an Illustrious Family to the World of Crime: Mukhtar Ansari’s Journey

Lucknow, March 28 (IANS) Contrary to the image he later cultivated for himself, Mukhtar Ansari belonged to an illustrious background. The jailed gangster-turned-politician, who died after suffering a cardiac arrest on Thursday evening aged 60, was the grandson of Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, a prominent figure in India’s freedom movement who was also the President of the Indian National Congress.

Born on June 30, 1963, in Uttar Pradesh’s Yusufpur, Mukhtar Ansari’s journey from the alleys of crime to the corridors of power was captivating. His involvement in organised crime escalated through the 1990s, particularly in the districts of Mau, Ghazipur, Varanasi, and Jaunpur.

He became a notable figure in the underworld, engaging in fierce rivalries, mostly with Brijesh Singh, over the control of lucrative contracts spanning coal mining, railway construction, and other sectors. The period was marked by violent confrontations, including an ambush on his convoy in 2002 that left three of his men dead and sparked further bloodshed in the region.

Ansari slowly transitioned into politics and managed to win the Assembly elections for five consecutive terms since 1996 from Mau. His tenure in politics was characterised by its duality, being seen by some as a Robin Hood figure and by others through the lens of his criminal activities.

His criminal record included accusations of murder, kidnapping, and extortion. In April 2023, he was convicted and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for the killing of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai. In March 2024, he received a life sentence in connection with a fake arms licence case. Mukhtar Ansari leaves behind a legacy that is as controversial as it is impactful.



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