Mukhtar Ansari’s Attack on Yogi Adityanath and the 11th Hour Life-Saving Switch | Ex-Cop Reveals Details – News18

Reported By: Oliver Fredrick
Edited By: Nitya Thirumalai
Last Updated: March 31, 2024, 08:00 IST
Lucknow, India
The dust is coming off of several episodes like this one with the death of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari. (PTI/File)
A sitting MP’s convoy under attack; first stones come raining, next come the petrol bombs, followed by gunfire. The lawmaker’s security men fire back. An IPS officer rushes to the site in a chopper with an AK-47 rifle to handle the situation and join the search operation. The MP is safely evacuated.
This might easily be a sequence from an OTT show based in the heartland. But the events unfolded in reality in 2008 when Yogi Adityanath, then MP from Gorakhpur, had a narrow escape after his convoy was attacked allegedly by the Mukhar Ansari gang.
The dust is coming off of several episodes like this one with the death of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari.
The five-time MLA from Mau Sadar seat was behind bars since 2005, and had over 60 criminal cases pending against him. He was lodged in the Banda Jail when his health deteriorated and he was rushed to hospital but died during treatment. He was laid to rest amid heavy security presence in Ghazipur’s Mohammadabad Darzi Tola on Saturday.
Speaking to News18, retired IPS officer Brij Lal who was then ADG Law and Order, recounted details of the September 7, 2008 attack on Adityanath’s convoy in Azamgarh in which one person was killed and six others were injured. The 1977 batch officer said he had to be airdropped from the chopper along with the AK-47 rifle.
The story, however, goes back to 2005, when communal riots broke out in Mau. “During this time, the five-time MLA and mafia-turned politician whose name cropped up for inciting the riots in Mau was seen waving an AK-47 from an open jeep,” Brij Lal said.
Yogi Adityanath, who was Gorakhpur MP then, himself headed to Mau, but was not allowed to enter the district. He was stopped at Dohrighat and sent back to Gorakhpur. Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav was the Chief Minister then.
In 2008, Yogi Adityanath challenged Mukhtar Ansari and said he would get justice for the victims of Mau riots. “Yogi ji had announced a rally against terrorism in Azamgarh under the leadership of the Hindu Yuva Vahini,” Brij Lal told News18. “The chosen date was September 7, 2008 and DAV College ground was chosen as the venue for the rally.”
Yogi Adityanath was thought to be travelling in a red SUV, which was part of a 40-vehicle convoy, and just before the cavalcade touched Azamgarh, it came under stone-pelting, followed by the hurling of petrol bombs and gunfiring. Yogi Adityanath’s gunner also opened fire, Brij Lal said.
“It was just a matter of coincidence that he changed the vehicle at the last moment and left his red SUV so his life was saved. It was a planned attack,” the former IPS officer added.
He recalled that as soon as he came to know of the attack, he took a chopper and rushed to Azamgarh, landing in Civil Lines. “Since all other officials were already engaged, I took an AK-47 and asked the then divisional commissioner to inspect the affected areas. I remember moving in the lanes of Azamgarh along with the AK-47. We carried out frequent raids and booked several people who indulged in violence,” he added.
After becoming the Chief Minister in 2017, Yogi Adityanath swiftly dealt with the mafia culture in parts of the state, clamping down on gangs and their activities. “Mafia dons and professional criminals are begging for their lives. There is no place for any mafia dons or criminals in UP,” he had said.


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