The recently modified Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986, has given the state government enough ammo to clamp down on organised crime by acquiring and demolishing properties worth over ₹1,000 crore that belonged to criminals.
ThePrint quoted the state home department and the UP Police to claim that the demolished properties were acquired illegally by gangsters like Mukhtar Ansari, Sunder Bhati, Atiq Ahmed, Bablu Srivastava and Khan Mubarak over the past four years.
The Yogi Adityanath government amended the Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 in February this year, which empowered the deputy commissioner-rank officers to order attachment of properties owned by gangsters. Earlier, only police commissioners and district magistrates were permitted to do so.
A total of 33 gangsters and their illegal properties are on the radar of the UP police. “Of the Rs 1,000 crore demolished properties, over Rs 500 crore of them belonged to the big 33, especially Atiq, Mukhtar and Sunder Bhati,” Prashant Kumar, ADG (law and order), told ThePrint.
The modified Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 has given more teeth to the UP police, which swung into action. Among the gangsters whose illegal properties have been demolished in the last few months are Mukhtar Ansari, Atiq Ahmed, Sunder Bhati, Anil Dujana and Badan Singh Baddo.
The state government, under pressure for several instances of crime against women, claims it has put about 37,000 criminals behind bars in the last four years.
Ex-MP Atiq Ahmed is on top of the list prepared by the home department, which claims to have demolished his properties worth Rs 203 crore; Mukhtar Ansari’s assets worth Rs 179 crore too have been either seized or demolished. Both Ansari and Atiq are behind the bars. Sunder Bhati’s property of about Rs 56 crore has already been attached.
While former Uttar Pradesh DGP Vikram Singh said the improved Gangster Act will help crack down on organised crime, Samajwadi Party MLC Sunil Singh Sajan said the government is taking action on the basis of caste and religion.