Azam Khan issue raised in both Houses of UP legislature

Lucknow, July 23 (IANS) Samajwadi Party (SP) legislators on Tuesday registered a strong protest against the land encroachment cases being lodged against SP MP Mohd Azam Khan in both the Houses of the state legislature.

While the SP MLAs entered the well of the House in the Vidhan Sabha demanding the withdrawal of cases against Azam Khan, in the Vidhan Parishad, the SP members walked out for the remainder of the day after the Chairperson turned down their request for an adjournment motion regarding the lodging of cases against Azam Khan.

In the Vidhan Sabha, leader of opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary alleged that in the name of Azam Khan, the ruling BJP was humiliating the opposition parties and the minorities.

SP member Naresh Verma raised the matter during zero hour through an adjournment notice.

Defending the district administration, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna alleged that in the name of a university, Azam Khan had encroached the land of the poor and the marginalised with the connivance of the then district administration.

Angry SP members then entered the well of the House and the day's business was hurriedly completed before the House was adjourned for the day.

The leader of the opposition in Vidhan Parishad, Ahmad Hasan, raised the issue during zero hour and charged the state government of indulging in vendetta politics and harassing the senior SP leader by implicating him in false cases.

SP MLC Udaivir Singh pointed out that since the BJP government assumed office in Lucknow in 2017, the process of lodging false cases against Azam Khan and the members of his family had started.

On July 20, a delegation of 21 elected representatives of the Samajwadi Party led by Ahmad Hasan had visited Rampur to investigate the charges of land encroachment against former cabinet minister Azam Khan.

The probe found that all the land acquired for the Jauhar University in 2003 was as per the rules. All the previous owners of the land had furnished affidavits of the sale of their land and had accepted the money through cheques and had not expressed any doubt over the sales all these years.

The SP members alleged that 13 years after the mutation of the land in favour of the university, some criminal elements under the protection of the state government had pressurised those who sold off their lands to lodge false cases against Azam Khan.

The members further alleged that the state government in their willingness to lodge the criminal cases did not even collect any evidence in the matter, nor did it measure or locate the so-called encroached land.

Hasan pointed out that first a joint FIR was lodged by 26 people who later filed 26 separate FIRs in the matter.

The police were also lodging cases when the SP delegation reached Rampur, he said.

Accusing the Rampur District Magistrate, Senior Superintendent of Police and revenue department officials of not fulfilling their protocol duties, Hasan said they did not even come to meet him, the leader of the opposition, when he had summoned them.

Defending the Rampur district administration, the leader of the upper House and Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said that the required protocol had been extended but the SP delegation did not stick to the schedule they had provided.

Chairperson Ramesh Yadav refused to entertain the notice for adjournment as a matter of urgent public importance as the SP MLCs walked out for the day.

--IANS

amita/arm

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