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MLA convicted under Tada in kidnap case

New Delhi, Feb. 4: Independent Uttar Pradesh MLA Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari was today convicted by a city court for offences committed under the Arms Act and the now defunct Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.

The conviction comes nine years after Ansari, who is facing several criminal cases and is a terror in eastern Uttar Pradesh, was caught near Bahai Temple in South Delhi on December 11, 1993. He had gone there to collect the ransom in a kidnapping case.

Special judge S.N. Dhingra found the legislator guilty of “consciously possessing arms and ammunition without any licence in Delhi” — an offence punishable under Section 25 (1B) of the Arms Act and Section 5 of Tada. Dhingra will pronounce the sentence tomorrow.

An accused can get a maximum sentence of seven years under the Arms Act section and between five years and lifesentence under the latter.

Earlier, another city court had absolved Ansari of the charge of possessing weapons under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

During arguments, the prosecution pleaded that maximum sentence be given to Ansari, who switched loyalties from the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party before winning the last Assembly polls as an Independent. Ansari’s counsel I.U. Khan argued that it was a politically motivated case.

The prosecution alleged that Delhi police had recovered two rifles, one single-barrel and a double-barrel gun and 111 live cartridges from Ansari’s Maruti car parked near Bahai Temple.

Ansari had got V.P. Goel, a businessman, kidnapped in 1993 and kept him in a hideout in Sector 9 of Panchkula, Punjab. He had demanded a ransom of Rs 1 crore and had come to collect the money at the temple when he was rounded up.

After the incident, two cases were registered against him — one for kidnapping Goel and the other for carrying arms and ammunition.

He was, however, discharged in the kidnapping case by another sessions court as the witnesses turned hostile after he threatened them with dire consequences. Both Goel and his son Sanjay, the victims, refused to identify Ansari.

In his order, Dhingra observed that Ansari “got V.P. Goel under his terror and V.P. Goel stated that he has not seen accused M.A. Ansari at any point of time”.

The judge said that “... after considering the entire evidence and the documents proved on record and documents placed by the accused on record, I come to the conclusion that it was accused M.A. Ansari who masterminded the kidnapping of V.P. Goel”.

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