New Delhi: Putting Lok Sabha member Azam Khans name on "anti-land mafia" portal and lodging over a dozen FIRs for land grabbing is "certainly a political conspiracy" hatched by the Uttar Pradesh government, his wife Rajya Sabha member Tazeen Fatma said.
Fatma accused both the Yogi Adityanath government as well as the Rampur district and police force in Uttar Pradesh of framing the MP under false cases ahead of by-elections in the state.
"The government in connivance with law enforcement agencies is levelling false cases against my husband ahead of by-election as they failed to defeat him in the Lok Sabha battle," Fatma told IANS.
The by-elections are likely to be announced in Uttar Pradesh in September to fill up the vacancies caused by the election of 11 MLAs, including Khan, to the Lok Sabha.
Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Khan resigned from the Rampur Assembly seat after winning the Lok Sabha election, defeating BJP's Jaya Prada. The Assembly seat is likely to witness a high profile contest as the BJP and SP are likely to field Jaya Prada and Dimple Yadav respectively.
Fatma alleged that Rampur District Magistrate Aujaneya Kumar Singh and Superintendent of Police Ajay Pal Sharma were trying to fix her husband under land-grabbing charges and asserted that there was no forceful purchase of the land.
"The land was bought by my husband in 2006 and the payment was made through cheques. "Why has this matter been suddenly hyped up after 13 years of the purchase of land?" she asked, adding it was certainly a "politically motivated" matter and that the "ruling party is conspiring against my husband".
"The matter was raised after the current DM and SP took charge in Rampur," the Rajya Sabha member said. She alleged that the officials (the DM and SP) were not "performing their duties in a fair manner". "They are just trying to make the state government happy by lodging the 'Goonda Act' against Samajwadi party leaders."
The Rampur district administration last week declared Khan and Aaley Hasan, a former Circle Officer in Rampur, as land mafia and uploaded their names on the state government as Anti Bhu-(land) mafia portal introduced in 2017.
According to cases registered at Rampur's Azim Nagar police station, Khan and Hasan, a former Deputy Superintendent of Police, allegedly forged documents and grabbed land worth several hundred crore for Mohammed Ali Jauhar University, a multi-crore private project of the SP leader. In the last three months, 44 cases have been lodged against Khan.
The Uttar Pradesh Police recently filed 13 FIRs against Khan and Hasan based on complaints lodged by 26 local farmers, accusing them of forcibly acquiring their land for the university during the Samajwadi regime in the state.
Khan has also called the charges against him a conspiracy to defame him and the Jauhar University. The Lok Sabha member is Chancellor of the university and Hasan, who is on the run, the chief security officer.
The case against the SP leader was registered on the basis of an enquiry by the UP Revenue Department, which checked all relevant documents and recorded statements of farmers who mainly belong to the minority community.
One FIR says that besides grabbing farmers' lands, Khan also misused his position as Cabinet Minister in Uttar Pradesh in 2012-17 to illegally occupy over 5,000 hectares of land adjoining the banks of Kosi river, which flows along the university campus.
-By Rajnish Singh