Will recover money spent on keeping gangster Ansari in Punjab jail from Amarinder Singh, Sukhjinder Randhawa: CM Mann : The Tribune India

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Will recover money spent on keeping gangster Ansari in Punjab jail from Amarinder Singh, Sukhjinder Randhawa: CM Mann

'If the money is not paid by them, then their pension and other facilities will be cancelled', he said

Will recover money spent on keeping gangster Ansari in Punjab jail from Amarinder Singh, Sukhjinder Randhawa: CM Mann

UP gangster Mukhtar Ansari. File Photo



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has said that the state government will not bear the expenses of Rs 55 lakh incurred on account of keeping Uttar Pradesh gangster Mukhtar Ansari in Punjab jail and for arguing his case in the Supreme Court.

In a tweet today, CM Mann said the amount will be recovered from former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who also held the charge of the home minister as well as from the then jail minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.

“Incase they did not make the payments, the money will be recovered from their pension accounts and the facilities provided to them by the government will be withdrawn,” the message added.

These facilities had been extended to the UP gangster, as he was a close friend of the Congress government leaders, the CM pointed out.

Ansari was in Rupnagar jail from January 2019 to April 2021 in an extortion case registered in Mohali before the Supreme Court directed the Punjab government to give custody of the gangster-turned-politician to Uttar Pradesh Police.

The apex court had also noted that the custody was being denied to the UP Police on trivial grounds under the guise of medical issues. Ansari was later moved to a jail in Banda in Uttar Pradesh.

Mann had earlier attacked the previous Congress government in the state, accusing it of providing a “comfortable stay” to Ansari when he was in jail.

In April, Mann said he refused to clear a file with a bill of Rs 55 lakh as fees of the “expensive lawyers” hired by the previous government to defend Ansari in the case. He also spoke about recovering the money from the then ministers.

Apart from ensuring a comfortable stay, the then government had ensured this "hardcore criminal" does not face any difficulty in jail and escaped the legal action against him, Mann had said.

Former chief minister Amarinder Singh, while reacting to Mann's statement in April, had taken a dig at him and asked the AAP leader to understand the system before speaking on the matter.

"Mann has just spent nine months in office while I was at the helm for over nine years," Singh said, suggesting that he had more experience than Mann when it came to running a government.

"Whenever any police investigation takes place, somebody who is in Tihar or any other jail, the investigating officer has every right to call for that man to come for investigation. If he has committed any crime in Punjab... then he is brought on transit remand," the former CM said.

"If Ansari is sitting there (Rupnagar jail) for two years, an investigation is going on and once that is done, they will decide. This is a system which works. This system is not a new thing. I think Mr (CM) Mann should understand this and first he should understand (the issue), then he should speak,” Singh had said.

While hearing the Uttar Pradesh government's plea seeking custody of Ansari in March 2021, the Supreme Court had noted that the former MLA from Mau was involved in several cases of attempt to murder, murder, cheating and conspiracy apart from offences under the Gangsters Act lodged in Uttar Pradesh.

The court was also informed by the UP government that between February 14, 2019, and February 14, 2020, Ansari's custody was denied to the state police by the Punjab jail authorities 26 times mainly on medical grounds referring to diabetes mellitus, skin allergy, hypertension, backache and throat infection. (With Agency Inputs)

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