- Varanasi court sentences gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari to life imprisonment in 1991 murder case, say lawyers, reports PTI
A court in Varanasi on Monday convicted gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari in the murder of Congress leader Awadhesh Rai more than 30 years ago.
Awadhesh Rai, the brother of Congress leader Ajay Rai, was shot dead on August 3, 1991, at the gate of his Lahurabir residence. A case in the matter was registered against Mukhtar Ansari and others.
"Mukhtar has been convicted in the Awadhesh Rai murder case of 1991. The court will pronounce its judgment later in the day," a lawyer told reporters in Varanasi.
Reacting to the development, Ajay Rai said, "This is the end of our many years of waiting. I, my parents, Awadhesh's daughter and the whole family kept patience... Governments came and went and Mukhtar strengthened himself.
"But we did not give up. Because of our lawyers' efforts, today the court has found Mukhtar guilty in the murder case of my brother," Rai added.
Lawyers said that around 1 am on August 3, 1991, Congress leader Ajay Rai and his brother were standing at the gate of their house in Varanasi when some assailants, including Ansari, came there in a car and shot Awadhesh.
Ajay Rai fired from his licensed pistol in retaliation, following which the assailants fled, leaving the car behind, they said. Awadhesh was rushed to a hospital in Kabirchaura, where doctors declared him dead.
Ansari, a five-time MLA from Mau Sadar seat, did not contest the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election and the seat was won by his son Abbas Ansari on a ticket from the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, which had tied up with the Samajwadi Party.