Azam Khan’s son briefly held over Jauhar varsity stir
Abdullah led the protests a day after SP chief Akhilesh Yadav asked his party workers from neighbouring districts to reach Rampur to oppose action against the father-son duo.Updated: Aug 02, 2019 07:40 IST
Opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) lawmaker Abdullah Azam Khan was on Thursday detained and later released for leading protests against raids on Rampur’s Jauhar Ali University (JAU) a day earlier. His father and Parliamentarian Azam Khan set up the university in 2006.
Abdullah led the protests a day after SP chief Akhilesh Yadav asked his party workers from neighbouring districts to reach Rampur to oppose action against the father-son duo. Over 200 SP activists were also detained.
Authorities imposed section 144 prohibiting the assembly of over five people and sealed all entry and exit points to Rampur following Yadav’s call. Officials said the situation turned violent when they tried to stop SP activists. “It is goonda raj in Uttar Pradesh. We are being framed under false charges. We want justice,” said Abdullah. He accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of targeting the JAU.
District magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar Singh said Abdullah was detained along with over 150 SP activists for violating section 144.
Singh said they have deployment police at Rampur’s entry and exit points. “Anyone found violating the law will have to face legal action.”
SP Parliament member Dharmendra Yadav was stopped in Moradabad along with hundreds of activists as they were on their way to Rampur.
Akhilesh accused the district administration of blocking SP’s peaceful protest at the BJP’s behest and called it undemocratic. “Citizens’ rights were crushed and the district administration created an atmosphere of terror by converting Rampur into a fortress. Abdullah Azam was taken into custody as he stepped out of his home and Rampur borders were sealed,” he said.
“Despite police terror, a large number of SP workers and leaders reached Rampur and participated in the protest.”
The Uttar Pradesh police raided a library at the JAU and recovered close to 1,500 rare books allegedly belonging to Rampur’s Government Oriental College (GOC). On Wednesday, police raided the JAU’s administrative block and recovered more rare books and ancient furniture. Abdullah was also detained for allegedly obstructing the raids.
The police had begun investigations into the case of the stolen books on June 16 after GOC principal, Zubair Khan, lodged a FIR saying they had been taken to the JAU library. Azam Khan is the chancellor of the university, which was established in 2006 over a 350-acre campus.