Why is Pakistani media infuriated over Mukhtar Ansari's death?

According to a report in the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, there's speculation of foul play behind Ansari's demise.

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Courtesy: ANI

Pakistani media outlets have begun criticizing the circumstances surrounding the demise of former gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari. They've pointed fingers at the Yogi Adityanath-led government, attributing blame for Ansari's death. According to a report in the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, there's speculation of foul play behind Ansari's demise.

The report highlights Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's firm stance on law enforcement in India's most populous state. Dawn notes that since the BJP government took office in Uttar Pradesh in March 2017. Since then, there have been 190 police shootings resulting in fatalities, termed as 'encounters' in UP.

The newspaper mentions that between March 2017 and September 2023, 5,591 individuals were injured in police encounters in UP. Describing Ansari's death as suspicious, Dawn referenced the public shooting of another gangster Muslim leader, Atik Ahmed, in Uttar Pradesh in 2023, which raised serious questions about the state government.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Today reported, "Three months after his lawyers approached the Indian Supreme Court expressing concerns about the possibility of harm while in custody, imprisoned Muslim leader and former MLA Mukhtar Ansari passed away in a Uttar Pradesh jail."

Mukhtar Ansari laid to rest amid heightened security

Mukhtar Ansari was laid to rest on Saturday in the Kalibagh graveyard near his ancestral home in Yusufpur Mohammadabad, Ghazipur district. The funeral procession, led by his MP brother Afzal Ansari, son Omar Ansari, nephew MLA Suhaib Ansari, family members, and supporters, began at Ansari's ancestral residence. 

Family allegations of foul play

Earlier, Ansari was transferred from Banda District Jail to Rani Durgavati Medical College, following his deteriorating health, where he succumbed to a heart attack. Ansari's family alleged foul play and accused authorities of poisoning him. However, Ansari's post-mortem revealed that heart attack caused his death. 

Ansari's post-mortem was conducted at Banda Medical College on Friday evening, after which his body was transported to his ancestral residence amidst heavy security measures. His elder son and MLA Abbas Ansari, who was detained in Kasganj jail on criminal charges, couldn't attend the funeral.