The security at Uttar Pradesh’s Banda has been beefed up as UP police are on their way to bring back Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Mukhtar Ansari to the city. The Punjab police handed over the Mau MLA to UP police on Tuesday and will escort the cavalcade to the state border.

Hotels around the Mandal Prison are being thoroughly checked as the city outpost in-charge has been instructed to carry out verification. According to sources in the police, the acquaintance with whom Ansari’s family had earlier stayed in Khyampar during his stint in Banda Mandal prison, has also been approached.

The ambulance that was stationed outside the prison on Monday was missing on Tuesday. It has reportedly been reserved for his stay in Banda jail.

The UP police arrived in Punjab in the wee hours on Tuesday to take Ansari into custody. He is lodged Punjab’s Ropar jail. An ambulance also arrived at Rupnagar police station to take him to Banda. He will be reportedly shifted to Banda jail by Wednesday morning.

The police team will leave for Banda jail on Tuesday with Ansari. As per sources, a squad of trained commandos of the Punjab police will accompany Ansari for his safety.

In a letter to the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) of UP, the Punjab Home department asked the Adityanath government to take Ansari’s custody by April 8. Ansari has been lodged in a jail in Punjab for alleged extortion since January 2019.

The police in Ropar have, meanwhile, barricaded many areas of the city and conducting security checking on all the routes.

Ansari, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA from Mau who is wanted in Uttar Pradesh for various cases, was ferried in the ambulance from the Rupnagar jail to a Mohali court in connection with a 2019 case of extortion. Amid tight security arrangements, Ansari was taken to the court on a wheelchair. He was sent back to the Rupnagar jail, where he is lodged since January 2019, in the ambulance after the court appearance.

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