New Delhi, Clouds of arrest seem to be hovering over controversial Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan as verification of revenue records “confirm” that the SP leader grabbed land of 26 farmers of his constituency, Rampur.
The UP Police’s move has already led to a furore in the state Assembly.
Suprintendent of Police, Rampur, Ajay Pal Singh told IANS that after verifying revenue records of the tehsil and later measuring the actual land on site confirms that a large chunk of land was forcibly grabbed by Azam Khan and included in his private university. A couple of days back, Azam Khan, a former Cabinet Minister of Uttar Pradesh, was declared as “land mafia” by the state government.
Initial investigations into 26 cases registered against Azam Khan revealed that he and his aides failed to produce any document or revenue record to claim that land, worth over several hundred crores, was owned by them.
“We did not receive any sale agreement from the accused relating to ownership of the land. On the contrary, we discovered that real owners of the land in question were the 26 farmers who filed FIRs against Azam Khan,” said SP Rampur, adding, “the police records reveal that till now 62 criminal cases have been registered against Azam Khan, the first being filed in 1982”. Most of cases relate to land grabbing, he said.
Earlier on Friday last, a case was registered against Azam Khan on the basis of an FIR filed by the Revenue Department in Rampur. The FIR alleged Azam Khan and his close aide, former police officer Aalehasan Khan, grabbed land from 26 farmers and used it in the construction of Mohammed Ali Jauhar University, a mega multi-crore project of the Samajwadi Party leader. After the FIR was filed, 26 farmers in Rampur, who were allegedly tortured to sign a forged sale deed, would now file separate FIRs.
The complaint of the Revenue Department alleged Azam Khan misused his position (as cabinet minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2012-17) in grabbing land of poor farmers and illegally occupied another huge chunk of land measuring 5,000 hectares.
“This land comes under the riverside (of Kosi river) and cannot be acquired. However, revenue records were forged and subsequently this land, worth over several hundred crores, was illegally occupied by Maulana Jauhar Ali University, run by Azam Khan,” a Revenue Officer said.
According to the officer, the forged documents aimed at fraudulently enabling occupation of the riverbed, now seem to provide strong evidence against Azam Khan. Police sources said several complaints relating to other cases of land grabbing by Azam Khan or his aides have been received at the office of the Superintendent of Police, Rampur.