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Azam Khan’s name to be put up on UP government’s anti-land mafia portal

The district administration of Rampur, the native town of the SP leader, is now contemplating listing Azam Khan as land mafia on the state government’s “Anti-Bhoo Mafia”(anti-land mafia) portal.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2019 11:03 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
uttar pradesh,azam khan,land mafia
Slapped with over two dozen cases, Samajwadi Party (SP) stalwart and MP, Azam Khan seems to be facing the most difficult time of his political career.(PTI)

The Rampur district administration is planning to put up the name of Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and local MP Azam Khan on the anti-land mafia portal that was introduced by the Yogi Adityanath government to identify land sharks.

Rampur district magistrate Ananjeya Kumar Singh said as many as 26 farmers had claimed that Khan and his men got the land for the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University through coercion.

“So far three FIRs have been lodged in this connection. Once the process is complete, we will upload Azam Khan’s name on the anti-land mafia website. There are sufficient reasons to do so,” Singh said even as Khan’s supporters alleged that the move was a part of vendetta politics of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Refuting allegations, Khan said he had purchased the land in 2006 and the payments were made through cheque.

The portal was introduced by the UP government in 2017 to identify known land mafia and register complaints of land grabbings.

“Even the land located near Kosi river was included for Khan’s project without following the due procedure. At least we don’t have any papers to show that due process was followed,” the DM said, adding that it was the third case by Khan that had come to light in the last two years.

The incidents happened between 2006 and 2016. Khan was a powerful minister in the Samajwadi Party government (2012-17).

Singh said names and details of habitual land-grabbers were being uploaded on the anti-land mafia portal.

“Now, after Unani Dawakhana and the river land issue, the third case relates to 26 farmers making a fresh pitch against Khan accusing him of land grab. We will put his name after some formalities. Once on the portal, the accused are kept under watch,” the DM said.

Dismissing allegations, Khan said: “These charges aren’t new. During the BSP government too, 11 people levelled similar charges against me. Their allegations couldn’t stand subsequent scrutiny as all land was purchased through cheque in 2006.”

He said like previous allegations, fresh charges would not stand against him. “Everyone knows who is behind it,” Khan said. BJP’s Rampur in-charge Chandramohan denied that his party was engaged in vendetta politics.

“He is trying to take the moral high ground but now he stands exposed. Law will now take its course with a politician who doesn’t know how to talk to a woman and has been accused of grabbing land of poor farmers,” he said. Chandramohan said freeing public and private land from land mafia was one of the poll promises of his party.

Meanwhile, police are also on the lookout for former circle officer of Rampur Ale Hasan who, after his retirement, was appointed the chief security officer of Jauhar University of which Khan is the lifetime chancellor.

“Raids were carried out at his residence located inside the Jauhar University but he wasn’t present,” a local police officer from Rampur said, adding that late on Saturday night two cases were registered against both Khan and Hasan at Azeem Nagar police station.

In separate FIRs lodged by two brothers, Bundey Ali and Mohd Yasmin of Aliyaganj village, they alleged that Khan and Hasan forced them to part with their land for Jauhar University.

“They have stated in their FIR that they were threatened that in case of non-cooperation they would be booked under various charges and jailed,” a police officer, who did not wish to be named, said over the phone from Rampur.

He also said even the necessary formalities of getting the process of ‘daakhil-kharij’ (process of registering one’s name in the revenue records after getting that of previous owner removed) was not followed.

First Published: Jul 14, 2019 14:42 IST