On Thursday, The Enforcement Directorate filed a money-laundering case against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan related with the land grab cases registered against him in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur district. The case has been registered under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, after the directorate took cognizance of at least 26 FIRs filed by the police against Azam Khan.
His name also features on the state’s anti-land mafia website, which was launched in June 2017 to assist in identifying those who grab land and initiate action against them. A nine-member Special Investigation Team has been set up by the state government to look into the charges. The Samajwadi Party has rejected the accusations.
A portion of the land supposedly grabbed by Khan was used to set up the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University of which he is the chancellor. The university has been in the spotlight since Tuesday, after the police started searching it based on a complaint that more than 9,000 books had been stolen from another college in the district and taken to Jauhar University’s library. The police claimed to have confiscated 50 boxes of 2,500 rare and valuable books on the next day. The parliamentarian’s son, MLA Abdullah Azam Khan, was also arrested when he allegedly obstructed police officials.
Meanwhile, the Adityanath government has been asked by the Allahabad High Court to provide details of the case that led the police to raid the university. Justices SK Gupta and SS Shamshery directed the state’s law officer to apprise it of the case after hearing a petition by the university’s registrar challenging the police action. The matter has been posted for hearing on August 6.
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