Akhilesh Meets SP Leader Azam Khan, His Wife, Son at Sitapur Jail

A day after surrendering at a Rampur court and being remanded in judicial custody there, Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan, his wife and son were on Thursday, 27 February, moved to Sitapur jail, where party chief Akhilesh Yadav met them.

The trio had surrendered before a Rampur court on Wednesday, 26 February, and were sent to judicial custody over Abdullah's allegedly fake birth certificate.

Without questioning the judge's ruling, part chief Akhilesh Yadav suggested that the BJP government was indulging in vendetta against the politician.

"“The Samajwadi Party doesn’t consider any action taken in revenge appropriate. Governments can’t run on bias.”" - Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party Chief

According to a jail official, the three reached Sitapur Jail on Thursday morning and are expected to be there till 2 March.

Asked about the number of cases lodged against him, Khan said, "Entire country knows what is happening to me and my family." On being shifted to Sitapur Jail, he said it was the government's decision.

The case relates to two birth certificates for Abdullah Azam, who allegedly also gave a wrong date of birth while filing his nomination papers for the assembly elections in 2017.

Abdullah’s election was set aside by the Allahabad High Court last December. He then approached the Supreme Court, which is still hearing the case.

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One Son, Two Birth Certificates

A Rampur BJP leader, Akash Saxena, had lodged an FIR at Ganj police station on 3 January 2019, alleging fraud related to Abdullah Azam's two birth certificates. In April, police filed the chargesheet in court.

Rampur's Additional District Judge Dhirendra Kumar on Monday, 24 February, rejected an anticipatory bail plea filed by the family and issued non-bailable warrants and a notice for attaching their property.

In one birth certificate, issued by the Rampur municipality, Abdullah's birth date was mentioned as 1 January 1993. The other certificate said he was born in Lucknow on 30 September 1990, according to the charge against him.

A case was also registered against Azam Khan and his wife as they had submitted an affidavit testifying their son’s second birth certificate.

Azam Khan represents Rampur in the Lok Sabha and his wife is an MLA from the Rampur assembly seat. Their son Abdullah won from the Suar assembly segment in 2017.

The Allahabad High Court set aside Abdullah's election last December on a plea by defeated BSP candidate Kazim Ali Khan that the SP candidate was under 25 when he filed his nomination papers in 2017. Abdullah Azam allegedly used fake documents to claim that he had reached the age to contest the polls.

In recent years, Azam Khan has also faced charges of encroachment of land around Rampur's Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, where he is the chancellor.

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‘Political Conspiracy’: Yadav

After meeting Khan on Thursday, Yadav said the Samajwadi party MP has been targeted by the BJP under a "political conspiracy".

"I met Azam sahab. His wife is not well and son also has injury in his hand. I hope the jail administration will provide them due facilities. After the BJP came to power, Azam Khan was targeted. It was a political conspiracy due to which he was sent to jail. The court will help him," he said.

Akhilesh was talking to reporters after meeting Azam Khan, his legislator-wife Tazeen Fatma and MLA-son Abdullah Azam, who were shifted to the district jail here from Rampur on early Thursday morning.

Yadav said the SP has faith in the judicial process and believed it will get justice. It is constitutional responsibility of the government that justice is delivered to everyone without any discrimination, he said. The Bharatiya Janata Party welcomed the development.

"“Azam Khan did politics for himself only. It is for the exploitation of the poor. We welcome the decision of the court to send him to the jail.”" - Chandra Mohan, BJP spokesperson

“SP chief Akhilesh Yadav should give an explanation on the kind of people associated with him in politics. The Supreme Court had on 17 January refused to stay the Allahabad High Court verdict annulling Abdullah's election to the UP Assembly,” Mohan added.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde had sought the response of the Election Commission and the defeated BSP candidate on the matter.

(Inputs from PTI)

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