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Varanasi, Dec 16 – Mafia-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari was on Friday held guilty and sentenced to five and a half years imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 10,000 by a special court in Varanasi for threatening a witness in more than 26-year-old coal businessman Nand Kishore Rungta murder case, prosecution sources said.

Prosecution sources said that the MP-MLA court of Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ujjwal Upadhyaya held Mukhtar guilty in the case of threatening Mahavir Prasad Rungta, the witness in the murder of a coal businessman Nand Kishore Rungta. “The court sentenced Mukhtar to five and a half years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000,” they said.

Prosecution sources said that Mukhtar appeared before the court through video-conferencing from Banda jail, where he is lodged currently.

It may be noted that on January 22, 1997, Nand Kishore Rungta, a coal businessman in the Jawahar Nagar area of Bhelupur police station in Varanasi, was murdered after being kidnapped. Mukhtar and his associate Ataur Rahman alias Sikandar were made the accused in the case.

Prosecution sources said that on November 5, 1997, threat calls were made to Mahavir Prasad Rungta, the brother of Nand Kishore Rungta, on his landline that the family should not cooperate with the police or the CBI in the murder case. It was threatened to blow up the entire family with a bomb.

A case was registered at the Bhelupur police station on December 1 in this regard. “The police completed the investigation and a charge sheet was filed against Mukhtar Ansari on July 3, 1998.

It may be noted that Mukhtar had already been sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court in Varanasi in the 32-year-old Awadhesh Rai murder case on June 5.