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Explained: Case Against Former DSP who charged Mukhtar Ansari with POTA, withdrawn

In recent developments of the 2004 gangster-turned politician of Uttar Pradesh- Mukhtar Ansari case is that the state government has withdrawn the case of vandalism against former Uttar Pradesh DSP Shailendra Singh. Shailendra Singh is the cop who had invoked the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) on Mukhtar Ansari, back in 2004. This has once again brought the attention of people back to the incident of 2004, which had forced Shailendra Singh to resign from his post.

DSP Shailendra Singh and the case of 2004:

The case was related to an incident of firing that happened between Mukhtar Ansari and Krishnanand Rai in the Lucknow cantonment area in 2004. Following the incident, the then Samajwadi government ordered Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) to be vigilant about both the parties involved in the incident. Following which DSP Shailendra Singh from Varanasi STF, who was investigating the case during the time, soon claimed to have intercepted a call, where he claimed that Mukhtar Ansari could be heard negotiating a deal with a fugitive soldier Babu Lal of 35 Rifles, Jammu, to get an LMG for Rs 1 crore. This gun deal was done by Mukhtar Ansari’s gunner Munnar Yadav, who was an uncle of Babu Lal.

Following the call, Shailendra Singh raided some locations in Varanasi and arrested Babu Lal Yadav and Munnar Yadav from the spot. He also recovered around 200 live cartridges of LMG from the spot and filed two FIRs under the Arms Act and POTA at Chaubeypur police station. 

What happened following the raids and the FIRs was full of complete chaos and ruckus in the state capital, where everyone held Singh responsible for his actions towards Mukhtar Ansari and the whole government machinery demanded proof from him. Further, Ansari held a press conference later and claimed to be clean, saying that all allegations against him were malicious and not true in any way. All of this created immense pressure on Singh to change his FIRs against Ansari and his aides or to at least remove Ansari’s name from the POTA case.

Almost a month after the incident, DSP Shailendra Singh resigned from the police force and claimed that the machine gun was procured to penetrate Krishnanand Rai’s bulletproof vehicle. He further said that if UP STF had not stopped this, Krishnanand Rai would have been killed a year earlier.  

Following his resignation, Singh was arrested and sent to jail on the basis of an FIR by Lalji, a class IV employee of the DM office employee. 

Shailendra Singh later ventured into politics where he couldn’t stand for long and lost the elections only to settle in Lucknow’s rural farmhouse where he began organic farming.

Withdrawal of Case against Singh after 16 years and his reaction:

The current update on the case is that the current government has withdrawn the case against the former cop. Singh thanked the government by writing down a Facebook post, where he wrote that he was harassed and was forced to resign, only because he took action against Mukhtar Ansari. 

“It is a big relief to me and my family. Finally, the truth has prevailed. It was because of this criminal case that I was unable to get a passport, an arms licence,” says Shailendra Singh, according to a TOI report. 

Mukhtar Ansari was transferred from Punjab to UP jail for trial a week ago. Holding that courts cannot be a “helpless bystander” when the rule of law is being challenged with impunity, the SC said while directing the transfer of BSP member Mukhtar Ansari from Punjab to UP for the trial of the case. The court also noted that Punjab had denied the transfer of Ansari’s custody to UP on ’26 occasions’ on trivial medical grounds. 

“We are satisfied that the custody is denied to the police on medical grounds by mentioning ordinary diseases like diabetes mellitus, skin allergy, hypertension, backache, throat infection, etc,” the bench said. 

“In our opinion, a convict or an undertrial prisoner, who disobey the law of the land, cannot oppose his transfer from one prison to another… Courts are not to be helpless bystander when the rule of law is being challenged with impunity.  In such situations, this court can exercise power under Article 142 of the Constitution to order the transfer of prisoners from one prison to another,” the bench said while rejecting the plea of Ansari who opposed his transfer. 

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