Gangster Sanjeev Maheshwari ‘Jeeva’ is in the limelight once again after he was shot dead by an unidentified assailant posing as a lawyer, on the premises of a Lucknow court. Police officials aware of Jeeva’s criminal history said before this, he was a family man working as a compounder at a local clinic in Muzaffarnagar.
“Sanjeev Maheshwari was a simple family man, who was working as a compounder at a doctor’s clinic in Muzaffarnagar before getting involved in crime,” said retired IPS officer Akhilesh Mehrotra.
But the officer said even though he was a compounder, Maheshwari had the mind of a criminal. It was because of this, he abducted the owner of the very clinic where he worked, the officer added.
For Jeeva, who was a close aide of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, this was just the beginning as he never stopped thereafter. He soon followed up with another alleged kidnapping – this time, the son of a businessman from Kolkata – and even demanded a ransom of Rs 2 crore.
Jeeva, who hailed from western Uttar Pradesh, first made headlines in 1997 for his alleged involvement in the murder of BJP MLA Brahm Dutt Dwivedi. A cabinet minister in the Uttar Pradesh government, he was shot dead in Farrukhabad district in February 1997. Ansari was a co-accused in this murder.
Not only Ansari, Jeeva was also close to another gangster Munna Bajrangi. After Bajrangi was killed inside jail at Baghpat in 2018, Jeeva, too, raised security concerns. In 2021, his wife also wrote to the authorities over the safety of her husband. He was lodged in Lucknow jail for the past several days and was brought to court for an appearance in the case.
Initial reports suggest that on Wednesday when Maheshwari was brought to the Lucknow court, the shooter attacked him and opened fire. The assailants who killed him were arrested while a police constable and a minor girl were also injured in the incident.