A purported video of the incident surfaced on social media platforms

Ghazipur, UP:

An argument broke out between the district magistrate and MP Afzal Ansari here on Saturday during the last rites ceremony of gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari — also Afzal’s brother — allegedly over who can enter the burial ground.

Thousands of people from Ghazipur district and nearby areas turned up to attend the last rites of Mukhtar Ansari who died of cardiac arrest in Banda on Thursday.

According to local sources, the argument took place when the district administration, in an attempt to manage the crowd gathered, allegedly stopped some people from entering the cemetery to scatter ceremonial soil on the grave as part of the burial ritual.

A purported video of the incident surfaced on social media platforms, in which Afzal Ansari can be heard saying, “You cannot stop anyone from offering soil.” To this, Ghazipur DM Aryaka Akhoury replies, “People of the family can offer soil. Will the entire town offer soil?” Afzal Ansari retorted that “anyone from anywhere who wants to offer soil will do so”.

When the DM cited the prohibitory orders imposed in the district and asked if any permission has been sought for it, Ansari replied, “You cannot stop anyone from participating in a burial despite Section 144 (of CRPC).” The DM said the funeral was being videographed and legal action will be taken.

The local administration made elaborate security arrangements outside Ansari’s residence and the burial ground.

Police faced a tough time managing the crowd who tried to force their way into the burial ground where entry was restricted. Varanasi Zone Additional Director General of Police (ADG) Piyush Mordia was present in Mohammadabad to supervise the arrangements.

When the funeral procession reached the cemetery, Afzal Ansari also appealed to the crowd to maintain peace.

According to the DIG of Varanasi Range, OP Singh, adequate police force was deployed everywhere. The Ansari family has been cooperating with the police. People started gathering in the area from Friday night and announcements were made to ensure that there was no overcrowding, he said.

Asked about some people in the crowd raising slogans, he said Mukhtar Ansari’s family members had given a list of 40 to 50 people who were allowed to stay at the Kali Bagh cemetery at the time of burial.

The rest were stopped after the prayers. There is complete peace, OP Singh added.

Personnel of the police, Provincial Armed Constabulary and paramilitary forces were deployed at all important places. As the crowd swelled, more security personnel were deployed in the area later.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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