Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and dreaded mafia don Mukhtar Ansari have been at loggerheads since 2005, when a communal riot broke out in Mau district in the Eastern corner of UP.
A prominent MP from the neighbouring Gorakhpur parliamentary seat, Yogi Adityanath also used to head the Hindu Yuva Vahini, that was also accused of inciting the riots.
Shortly after the riots, this scribe went to the riot affected areas. But when Ansari was confronted with the accusation of fuelling the clashes, he flatly denied his involvement.
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Interestingly, he found a very unique way to put across his argument.
%u201CApne-apne naam batao%u201D (give out your names), he told his half-a-dozen-odd body-guards, who were surrounding the court-yard in his house in Mohammadabad town of Ghazipur district, where this scribe had gone along with a camera team to interview him. What came as a big surprise was that six out of the seven body-guards were Hindus.
And that was where lay the catch. Pointing towards the body-guards, he shot back , %u201CYe woh log hain jinki wajah se hum aapke samne zinda khare hain; agar humari soch zara si bhi communal hoti toh kya hum apni zindagi ki suraksha inke haathon mein dete?%u201D (These are the people because of whom I am standing here alive before you; if I had the least communal bent of mind, do you think I would have entrusted the safety and security of my life in their hands?)
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Also, when asked to comment on his alleged involvement in terrorist activities (he was once booked under POTA), Ansari took us deeper inside his home to the sitting room , with several black-and-white portraits and pictures adorned the walls. And before we could take a closer peek at the pictures, Ansari went about rattling , %u201Cye mera khandan hai ; in tasveeron mein aapko kai jaane-mane desh ki azadi ke heroes dikhenge jinme hain humare dada Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, jinka azadi ki jung mein bara yogdaan raha aur woh Congress ke bhi bahut unche padon par aasin rahe. Inke saath aap dekhenge Brigadier Mohammad Usman, jinhe log %u2018sher-e-Naushera%u2019 ke naam se behtar jante hain kyunki Kashmir ki jung jitney ke liye unhe Mahavir chakra se nawaza gaya tha. (these are my ancestors ; you will find many well known freedom-fighters in these pictures, including my own paternal grandfather Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, a prominent Congress leader, who was also a close lieutenant of Mahatma Gandhi, as also my maternal grand-uncle Brigadier Mohammad Usman, who is better known as the %u2018lion of Naushera%u2019 for which he received the prestigious Mahavir Chakra). He also boasted of his relationship with former Vice President Dr Hamid Ansari. Significantly, Delhi%u2019s Ansari Road in Daryaganj and Ansari Nagar , after Mukhtar%u2019s grandfather.
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That was Mukhtar%u2019s way of telling you , %u2018my name is Mukhtar Ansari, but I am not a terrorist%u2019 !
However, there can be no denying that he had turned out to be the black sheep of the family. And today, if all eyes were on him, as he was being brought by a controversial UP police from Punjab jail back to the Banda jail in UP, they were for all the wrong reasons. He is believed to have been avoiding his return to UP for the simple fear that he could meet the same fate as outlaw Vikas Dubey, who was gunned down in a very shoddily carried out encounter , while being brought by the UP cops from Madhya Pradesh to UP.
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