VARANASI: Jailed mafia don Mukhtar Ansari’s own aide and witness in the 2001 Usrichatti case of murderous attack on them, Tauqir Ahmed, on Tuesday refused to identify gangster Brijesh Singh, who is the main accused in the case.
Mukhtar was not produced physically before the court of additional district judge-1 (MP-MLA) Durgesh Pandey despite its directive – after which it did not allow Banda jail authorities to produce him through video-conferencing to give evidence against Brijesh. The court asked prison officials to produce him physically on January 10. Brijesh also avoided appearing before the court while Mukhtar’s lawyer Liyaqat Ali claimed that conspiracies are being hatched to eliminate Mukhtar and other witnesses of Usrichatti case to give benefit to the accused.
Providing details of Tuesday’s developments to TOI, additional district government counsel (criminal) Niraj Srivastava said, “Tauqir Ahmed, who was among the nine persons who suffered injuries during the Usrichatti incident in 2001, had appeared before the court as witness no. 4. Tauqir confirmed the sequence of incidents that took place at Usrichatti on July 15, 2001. However, he refused to identify Brijesh by mentioning that he did not know the assailant by name.” After Mukhtar’s driver Ramesh Ram and Israel, who had suffered injuries in Usrichatti, and the doctors treated them at hospital, Tauqir was fourth witness in the case.
Regarding other developments in the court, Srivastava said, “Mentioning administrative grounds and security reasons, the authorities of Banda jail tried to produce Mukhtar before the court through videoconferencing despite clear order of the court to produce him physically. ADJ-1 (MP-MLA) court Durgesh Pandey did not allow it. The court fixed January 10 as the next date of hearing. The court asked the prison officials to produce Mukhtar physically before it on January 10.”
Brijesh also avoided appearing before the court as his advocates submitted an application for exemption of personal appearance in the court, said Srivastava, mentioning that another accused in the case, Tribhuvan Singh, was produced from Mirzapur jail through videoconferencing.
Mukhtar’s advocate Liyaqat Ali said, “When Mukhtar was in the custody of ED and produced before the court virtually, he had made it very clear before the judge that he was committed to giving evidence against Brijesh in the Usrichatti case. Mukhtar has been in jail since October 25, 2005, but all his bid to give evidence in this case had been foiled. Three persons had been killed while nine had suffered injuries. All the injured persons are witnesses but they are also being threatened to avoid giving evidence against the accused persons in this case.”
Questioning why the jail authorities were not producing Mukhtar physically, Ali said that it is a well-planned conspiracy to stop Mukhtar from giving evidence against Brijesh. “A conspiracy is being hatched to eliminate Mukhtar before he gives evidence against Brijesh to ensure that the latter is benefited,” claimed Ali.
On July 15, 2001, a motorcade of Mukhtar and his supporters was attacked. Three persons, including Mukhtar’s gunner, were killed while nine had suffered injuries. Following the incident, Mukhtar lodged an FIR against Brijesh, his close aide Tribhuvan Singh and 15 others.

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