Updated: April 3, 2021 11:08:20 am
The UP Police Friday lodged an FIR, saying fake documents were used to register an ambulance, which recently ferried gangster-turned politician Mukhtar Ansari from a Punjab jail to a court in that state. The The bullet-proof luxury ambulance had the registration number of UP’s Barabanki and had ferried the Mau MLA from Punjab’s Ropar jail to a Mohali court on March 31.
The FIR has been lodged against a Mau-based doctor whose forged documents were used for registering the vehicle. Amid a row over the issue, the Punjab Police clarified that an inmate can be transported in a private ambulance on medical grounds and the cost of conveyance has to be borne by the prisoner.
Barabanki Superintendent of Police (SP) Yamuna Prasad said, “It came to the notice of authorities through visuals on TV channels that the registration of the ambulance used by Mukhtar Ansari to reach court was of Barabanki. When we conducted a preliminary inquiry, it was found that the documents submitted for registration of the vehicle were fake. The documents that were found to be fake were an election voter card and a PAN card. Based on that, we lodged the case. We are conducting a detailed probe to find out who all were involved in the forgery.”
The SP said an FIR was filed against Dr Alka Rai based on a transport official’s complaint. Rai lives in Mau district and runs a private clinic there. “Till now, we have booked Dr Alka Rai as her forged documents were used for registration of the vehicle,” Prasad added.
However, the doctor lodged a complaint in Mau district, claiming that one of Ansari’s representatives had made her sign the documents used to register the vehicle.
“She has said that she signed the papers because Ansari was a public representative. We are probing her claims and will coordinate with Barabanki police before taking further action,” said Mau SP Ghule Sushil Chandrabhan.
Rai told reporters, “I have no connection with Barabanki. Mukhtar Ansari is our MLA. Some years ago, a message was sent along with some papers that he wanted to buy an ambulance for the public as an MLA. I was told that he wants to get an ambulance and it can only be done through a hospital. If an MLA asks something, how can I say anything? I had signed some papers, but it is an old issue. I have no information about it since…The ambulance is registered in the name of the hospital.”
Rai claimed she is “kshetriya mahamantri [regional general secretary]” of the Gorakhpur Mahila Morcha.
According to the complaint against Rai in Barabanki, the fitness certificate of the ambulance expired on January 31, 2017, and it was being used without proper fitness or insurance papers. The FIR against her has been lodged at the Kotwali police station under IPC sections such as 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), and 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating).
Meanwhile, asked why Ansari was allowed to travel to court in a private vehicle, Punjab Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) PK Sinha said, “We hand over the person [inmate] to the police at the ‘deori [jail corridor]’. The district police can best answer that.”
Ropar Senior SP Akhil Chaudhary said, “An escort party under the supervision of a DSP-rank officer with sufficient force was deputed by the district police of Roopnagar [Ropar] for producing Mukhtar Ansari to the Mohali court. The DSP, after checking the relevant medical records and court records and files available with the Ropar jail, allowed him to be taken in the ambulance under police escort.”
A senior Punjab Police official pointed out that according to Ansari’s medical records, he has a pre-existing medical condition. “On this basis, as per documents with the prison authorities, the court allowed him the use of an ambulance for court attendance in criminal cases against him, and for which expenses were to be borne by him,” the official added.
According to the officer, the Punjab Prisons (Attendance in Court) Rules allow a separate vehicle to be provided to a prisoner for transportation to court, but with conditions attached. “The rules further permit that any prisoner who wants to travel in a separate conveyance and is willing to pay for it himself may be permitted by the officer in charge of the escort party to do so, provided suitable arrangements can conveniently be made.”
The development comes a day a after Mohali court rejected a plea of Ansari who sought directions to jail authorities to constitute a medical board for examining him.
The Supreme Court had recently directed the Punjab government to hand over the custody of Ansari to the UP Police within two weeks, saying it was being denied on trivial grounds under the guise of medical issues. Ansari’s wife has written to President Ram Nath Kovind, expressing fears that he might be killed in a fake encounter while being transferred from Punjab to UP following a Supreme Court direction.
His brother, BSP MP from Ghazipur, Afzal Ansari told PTI, “To divert attention from the life threat to Mukhtar, BJP government is making wheelchair and ambulance as an issue. If the BJP is making Mukhtar Ansari (2022) election agenda, we and our supporters will also make vindictive action of the government against their family an issue”.
Asserting that Ansari has been ill for the past two years, his brother said that if there is any shortcoming in the documents of the ambulance, a fine could be imposed.
(With PTI inputs)
📣 22 bet app is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- 22 bet app website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.