Firebrand BJP leader Sangeet Som, along with two others, purchased land for a meat processing unit in Aligarh in 2005, reveal registry documents accessed by Hindustan Times.
The documents show that Som, who was among the directors of Al Dua Food Processing Private Limited along with Moinuddin Qureshi and Yogesh Rawat till March 2008, bought the land for the company.
Talking to HT, Som admitted that he had purchased the land a few years ago but claimed that he was unaware of being appointed as a director of the company.
“I purchased the land which was sold to Al Dua Food Processing Private Limited after a few months,” he said, questioning how purchasing a property could be illegal. He claimed that purchasing the land did not mean he was involved in establishing the meat factory.
“I am a Hindu hardliner hence there is no chance of getting involved in activities which are against my religion,” said Som, claiming he would quit politics if his role in the factory was proved.
However, Al Dua’s annual report for 2007 shows that Som served as a director of the company from December 12, 2005. He resigned from the position in March 2008. The registry document states the land in Aligarh was purchased on December 26, 2005, when Som was one of Al Dua’s directors.
The website of Al Dua describes it as a “leading producer and exporter of halal meat from India” and a specialist in the export of “quality halal buffalo, sheep/lamb, goat meat and hides”.
Som criticised Samajwadi Party leader Atul Pradhan, who contested against him in Sardhana constituency in the last election and said, “He had created a similar controversy ahead of the state assembly elections in order to tarnish my image.”
He also claimed that following the allegations, the matter was investigated by the district administration but they couldn’t find evidence against him. Som has been involved in controversies and is one of the accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013.
(An earlier version of this report erroneously stated that the land in Aligarh was purchased in 2009 and that Sangeet Som is currently a director of Al Dua Food Processing Private Limited. The errors are regretted.)