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Desh Ki Baat

Mukhtar Ansari Sentenced to Life Imprisonment For The Murder Of  Awadhesh Rai 

Mukhtar Ansari, a notorious criminal-turned-politician, was handed a life sentence on Monday for his involvement in the 1991 murder case of Awadhesh Rai.

Mukhtar Ansari Sentenced to Life Imprisonment: Rai family gets justice after a lengthy wait

Mukhtar Ansari, a notorious criminal-turned-politician, was handed a life sentence on Monday for his involvement in the 1991 murder case of Awadhesh Rai. The victim, Awadhesh Rai, was the older brother of Ajay Rai, a prominent Congress leader. This heinous crime took place when Awadhesh was fatally shot outside his residence in Maldiya, Varanasi, at the age of 30.

The Awadhesh Rai Murder Case:

According to the prosecution’s account, on August 3, 1991, Awadhesh was standing near his house in Varanasi’s Maldiya area when a group of assailants arrived in a car and opened fire at him. Ajay Rai, along with his associate Vijay Pandey, was present at the scene and quickly rushed Awadhesh to the hospital. Tragically, Awadhesh was announced dead upon arrival.

Following the incident, an FIR was registered at the Chetganj police station, naming Mukhtar Ansari, Abdul Kalam, Bheem Singh, Kamlesh Singh, and Rakesh Kumar Srivastava as the five accused individuals. Ajay Rai, who claimed to have witnessed the shooting, lodged the complaint against Mukhtar Ansari and his cohorts. Alok Chandra, the former government counsel assigned to the case, believed that the murder was a result of a local power struggle.

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Subsequent Developments:

 A few months later, the case was transferred to the Crime Branch (CID) of the Uttar Pradesh Police for further investigation. Over time, two of the accused, Kamlesh and Abdul Kalam, passed away, while the legal proceedings against Bheem Singh and Rakesh Srivastava are a relief after the verdict was delivered on Monday.

Ajay Rai shared his sentiments, stating, “This marks the end of a long wait for us. Despite the changing governments and Mukhtar Ansari’s growing influence, my family and I, including Awadhesh’s daughter, never lost hope. Today, thanks to our lawyers’ relentless efforts, the court has held Mukhtar guilty for my brother’s murder.”

Ajay Rai, a five-time MLA, has been involved in numerous criminal cases throughout his political career. He had affiliations with gangster Brijesh Singh and has shifted political allegiances over time. As a member of the Bhumihar caste, Rai holds influence over Bhumihar and Brahmin voters in the Varanasi region. Prior to joining the Congress party, he had been associated with both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP).

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Rai’s Political Journey:

 Ajay Rai commenced his political journey with the BJP, securing victory as an MLA from the Kolasla constituency thrice. However, he left the party prior to the 2009 Lok Sabha elections due to the BJP’s decision to field Murli Manohar Joshi. Subsequently, he contested on an SP ticket but finished third behind Joshi and Mukhtar Ansari, who represented the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

In 2012, Digvijaya Singh, the then AICC general secretary, played a pivotal role in Rai’s joining of the Congress party. During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when Rai ran against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mukhtar Ansari’s party, Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED), announced their support for him.

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Recent Security Concerns: In 2021, after the Uttar Pradesh Police took custody of Mukhtar Ansari from Punjab to bring him back to the state, Ajay Kumar Lallu, the Uttar Pradesh Congress state president, wrote a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel, urging them to reinstate Rai’s security cover. This request was made due to Rai being a key witness against Ansari in his brother’s murder case.

The life imprisonment sentence handed to Mukhtar Ansari for his involvement in the Awadhesh Rai murder case serves as a significant milestone in the pursuit of justice. Ajay Rai’s perseverance and the relentless efforts of their legal team played a crucial role in achieving this outcome. This verdict brings some closure to the Rai family, who have endured a lengthy wait for justice in the face of shifting political landscapes.

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