Senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan was released this morning from the Sitapur jail in Uttar Pradesh, a day after the Supreme Court granted him interim relief in an alleged cheating case. It may be noted that Khan had contested the recently held Assembly election from Rampur Khas seat from inside the jail and won by a decent margin.
Azam Khan’s son and MLA Abdullah Azam, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohiya) leader Shivpal Singh Yadav, and a large number of supporters greeted the firebrand leader as he walked out of jail. He immediately set off for his native Rampur after being released. The jailor stated that his order was received early Thursday, and after all the procedures were completed, he was released around 8 am Friday.
Azam Khan was in jail for the last 27 months in connection with several cases, including that of land grabbing. On Thursday, the Supreme Court exercised its special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution as it flagged the “peculiar” circumstances of the matter.
Since the BJP came to power in 2017, as many as 81 cases were registered against Azam Khan on various charges, including land grabbing, cheating and criminal trespass at different police stations in Rampur. In some cases, Azam’s wife Tanzeen Fatima and son Abdullah Azam are also booked. Tanzeen Fatima obtained bail in December 2020 and Mohammad Abdullah was released in January this year.
Recently, Azam Khan had refused to meet Samajwadi Party MLA from Lucknow Ravidas Mehrotra. Mehrotra had told reporters that he had gone to Sitapur to meet Khan on the directions of party president Akhilesh Yadav, two days after the SP chief’s uncle Shivpal Yadav had met Khan inside the jail.
The Enforcement Directorate is also investigating a money laundering case against Khan. A few months ago, ED issued several notices to people who had reportedly donated to the Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar trust run by Mohammad Ali Jauhar University. Samajwadi Party had alleged that the police were harassing supporters and associates of Khan.
Azam Khan is the founder and chancellor of Mohammad Ali Jauhar University in Rampur.