A day after a police officer said on camera that Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan had asked the police to go slow on controlling Muzaffarnagar riots, the Muslim face of the ruling Samajwadi Party pleaded innocence.
Talking about the communal violence in which 48 people were killed and over 40,000 displaced, Khan said, “I deny a thousand times that I had called up any police officer anywhere in Muzaffarnagar on how to deal with rioters. Let investigating agencies check call records of my office and residential phones.”
Khan urged the TV channel that aired the sting to check the authenticity of the claim about his involvement. “The SHO is shown stating yes, yes to a pointed query about my involvement. It’s very clear that it’s a conspiracy to defame me. If proved guilty I would willingly accept any punishment. But such things aren’t fair,” he said.
There was speculation that parties were aiming to polarise the state along religious lines ahead of 2014 general elections. To repeated queries, Khan said, "I have nothing to do with it. I have nothing more to explain."