Acting on the Election Commission’s directions, two separate FIRs were lodged against Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister and senior Samajwadi Party leader Mohammed Azam Khan over his alleged inflammatory speeches in election rallies in the state.
The Ghaziabad administration on Saturday lodged an FIR against Khan over his remarks in Muslim-dominated Masuri area on April 7. Khan allegedly gave a communal colour to the Kargil conflict, attributing India’s victory to “Muslim soldiers”.
The FIR was lodged by sub-divisional magistrate Kunal Silku at the Masuri police station. “We had sent the video recordings of Khan’s election speech to the election commission. Investigations are under way,” Silku told HT.
Khan was booked for promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race etc, and other provisions of the Representation of People Act and Indian Penal Code.
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In his speech in Masuri on April 7, Khan had allegedly said: “The Kargil peaks were not won by Hindus, but by Muslim soldiers who raised victory slogans.”
Khan had also come under the commission’s scanner over his “dog’s pup” remarks in Ghaziabad.
Another FIR was lodged in Khan’s home town Rampur for using foul language during a rally held at Kila Maidan on April 1 and allegedly threatening government officials at a different meeting.
“We lodged an FIR against Azam Khan,” said returning officer and district magistrate G.M.Priyadarshi. The case was lodged on a complaint filed by assistant returning officer Amit Singh.
The officials examined the recording of a rally at Ajitpur on April 5 and prima facie found him guilty of threatening officials from the dais.
Taking a serious note of Khan’s public utterances, the EC on April 9 served him a notice and sought a reply by April 11.
On April 11, the commission shot off a letter to the UP chief secretary, saying the state government machinery was “soft pedaling” in taking action against Khan.
The commission later directed the UP govt to file an FIR, initiate criminal proceedings against him and bar district authorities to grant permission to any processions, rallies and road shows where Khan was expected to participate. (With inputs from S Raju)