LUCKNOW: Turning the heat on senior SP leader and Rampur MP Mohammad Azam Khan, who has been booked in a series of intimidation and land grabbing cases, the Rampur district administration declared him land mafia on Thursday.
Khan is accused of grabbing huge expanses of farmers’ land forcibly through coercion while being a minister in Akhilesh cabinet for his prestigious Ali Jauhar University project in Rampur. Confirming the latest development, Additional District Magistrate, Sadar, Prem Prakash Tiwari said that Khan’s name is figured on the anti-land mafia portal of UP government.
Rampur DM Anjaney Kumar said that as per the government order, those, who are habitual of indulging in land grabbing using muscle power, were declared land mafia. “Their name gets registered in UP Anti-Land Mafia Portal which is monitored by the government,” said the DM adding that the case of Azam Khan fell in the same category.
In fact, during the last one week, Rampur police lodged a series of FIRs on the basis of complaints of over two dozen farmers accusing Azam Khan and Ale Hasan, the then CO city, of grabbing their land through intimidation for Ali Jauhar university.
As per police sources, over two dozen (26) such complaints of land grabbing through coercion were received from as many farmers during the last one week. So far around 15 cases under Sections 342, 384, 447 and 506 of IPC have been lodged against the Rampur MP. The cases registered against him also include his unsavoury comments against women in the recent past.
SSP Rampur, Dr Ajay Pal Sharma said that the cases lodged against Azam Khan would be analysed by a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) and a fair report would be submitted on the basis of which further action would be taken against Khan.
Meanwhile, Azam Khan rejected all the accusations against him calling all the FIRs ‘false’. He condemned the police action against him as part of BJP’s politics of vendetta. Khan said he was being tormented unnecessarily by the ruling party in the wake of upcoming by-polls. “We have won the Lok Sabha election. Now we will win Rampur bypoll as well,” claimed the SP leader. The party has also protested against the allegations and raised the issue in UP Legislative Council alleging that he is being framed in "fake" cases. Khan accused the ruling BJP of creating a wedge in the society just for the sake of a few bighas of land and resisiting his move to enlighten the society through education.
The state BJP government dismissed the SP's allegations, asserting it is treating everyone the same and the action is not driven by any political vendetta. Leader of the House and Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma termed the SP's allegations as baseless. "The government is treating everyone in the same manner, and it is not an act of vengeance. The government has made an online provision of registering a report, and action will be done only after examining all aspects. The allegations which are levelled against the government are totally baseless, and do not have any link with the policy and intention of the government," Sharma said referring to the cases against Khan.
However, taking exception of the cases registered against Azam Khan, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has already set up a 21-member committee, led by leader of opposition in the Legislative Council Ahmad Hasan, to probe the veracity of charges levelled against party MP from Rampur.
(With inputs from PTI)