After the Enforcement Directorate conducted multi-city raids as part of a money laundering investigation against jailed gangster-turned politician Mukhtar Ansari, the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday said it was determined to establish rule of law and end organised crime.
Ansari, a five-time former MLA, is currently lodged in jail at Banda in Uttar Pradesh.
"Our government is determined to establish rule of law in the state. No criminal or organised crime will be allowed here. We have empowered our forces and agencies and they are free to take legal action against such elements," Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak told reporters when asked about the ED action against Ansari.
The jailed politician's son Abbas Ansari is a leader of the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and is the MLA from Mau.
When asked about the action against senior Ansari, SBSP leader Arun Rajbhar said, "The ED and the government are doing their respective works. The ED has been raiding people with 'maal' (money). The public will get to see how much 'maal' one has."
He further said, "Those who are not guilty will come clean and those who are wrong will obviously shout."
Congress leader Deepak Singh said he felt the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation were working as "organisations of the BJP" and acting at the behest of the saffron party.
"Democracy will be reinstated after the BJP's ouster and the Congress will ensure that the BJP goes out of power in 2024," he said.
Earlier, the ED raided the official residence of Bahujan Samaj Party MP Afzal Ansari in Delhi as part of the raids against his brother Mukhtar Ansari.
The Ghazipur MP's government accommodation at Janpath in central Delhi was covered during the raids, which are being carried out along with a CRPF security escort.
Apart from Delhi, searches are also being conducted at their premises located in Mohammadabad and other areas of Ghazipur district, Mau and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
The ED action is aimed to gather evidence with regard to an ongoing investigation against Mukhtar Ansari and his associates under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), sources said.
He is under the ED scanner in connection with at least 49 criminal cases, including those of land grabbing, murder and extortion.
He faces trial in Uttar Pradesh in several cases, including attempt to murder and murder. The Ghazipur district administration had last week seized two plots, measuring 1.901 hectares and valued at over Rs 6 crore, that were allegedly purchased using Mukhtar Ansari's illegal earnings, according to police.
In July, the Uttar Pradesh Police attached Afzal Ansari's assets worth Rs 14.90 crore under the Gangster Act.