The Retired Railway Employee Who Took On Gangster-Politician Mukhtar Ansari

The stealing of 2,000 bricks was the first trigger. The second was the land grab. Both allegedly by gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s men. He had retired in 2003 but there was no rest period.

Harish Chandra Vishwakarma, a former railway employee, filed a land-grab case against regional strongman Mukhtar Ansari the same year. It became the first land-grab case in a long list of cases against the regional heavyweight, who died of a cardiac arrest at a hospital in Banda in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. He was 63.

“We all have to die one day. It is both your story and mine,” Mr Vishwakarma, 82, who lives in Mau, told NDTV philosophically when asked about the gangster’s death.

Since 2005, till his death, Mukhtar Ansari had been lodged in different jails of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

“There was a land opposite my house which was allegedly taken over by Mukhtar Ansari’s men. A school was built there and Mukhtar Ansari was called to inaugurate it,” Mr Vishwakarma, 82, who lives in Mau, told NDTV.

“To build a road leading up to the school, his (Mukhtar Ansari) men stole the 2,000 bricks that I had bought to build my home,” he said.

When Mukhtar Ansari – who hailed from Mau and was believed to have strong influence in Ghazipur and Varanasi districts as well – came to inaugurate the school, he was weighed in coins, he added.

The gangster won the Mau assembly seat five times in a row beginning 1996, including twice as a Bahujan Samaj Party candidate. He last contested the assembly polls in 2017.

Upon inquiring, the retired railway employee found that the land belonged to the state government. He promptly filed a case against Mukhtar Ansari and his men.  

Asked how he managed the money, Mr Vishwakarma said he used his pension to fight the case.

Mr Vishwakarma says his big brother was assaulted by Mukhtar Ansari’s men as he refused to withdraw the case.

As he won after many years, the school was closed and the Mau Nagarapalika took over the property.

He never found the stolen bricks, but Mr Vishwakarma, who lost his wife in 2018, was able to build his house.

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