On the direction of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, the party workers across Uttar Pradesh have organised massive protests at their respective districts today in support of Azam Khan.
The Samajwadi supremo had announced a state-wide protest on August 9 in support of Rampur MP Azam Khan and his son Abdullah Azam, the Suar MLA. During the protest, SP workers are demanding that ‘fake cases’ against Azam Khan be withdrawn and harassment of Abdullah should be stopped.
A group of Samajwadi workers were stopped by the Uttar Pradesh police as they blocked roads and disrupted traffic in Uttar Pradesh today.
— UttarPradesh.ORG News (@WeUttarPradesh) August 9, 2019
Samajwadi Party claims that the charges of land grabbing filed against Azam Khan are fake. The SP leader has been declared as a land mafia by the UP government, and several FIRs have been registered against him on the complaints of as many as 26 farmers. The farmers allege that Azam Khan had forcefully grabbed their land for his university. Khan has denied all the charges, and the party has stood firmly behind him.
Akhilesh Yadav seems to be sharing a very special bond with Azam Khan. This affinity probably compelled Akhilesh to extend his support to Azam Khan’s sexist and creepy remark against the BJP female MP. While under normal circumstances this could amount to harassment and sexual abuse, Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav, however, found nothing wrong with it. He said that Khan’s remarks were nothing but ‘poetry’.
Nevertheless, the Samajwadi Party also said that the protest will highlight the deteriorating law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh. The list of demand also included the setting up of a fast track court for the trial of the accused in the Sonebhadra massacre case, shifting of Unnao rape accused, MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar to a jail outside Uttar Pradesh, allocation of land to tribals of Umbha village in Sonebhadra district and entering their names in revenue records.
On August 4, Uttar Pradesh police had booked 16 Samajwadi workers including district president Firoz Khan in Sambhal for burning effigies and blocking a key road. The police had stopped them from going to Rampur in support of MP Azam Khan and his son Abdullah. Since the police prevented them, the workers led by Sambhal president, Firoz Khan started burning effigies in front of sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) court. This had led to the blocking of Sambhal-Moradabad road.
The Samajwadi Party had also organised a huge rally in Rampur on August 1 as a show of strength to protest against the raids against Azam Khan and the detention of his son Abdullah Azam Khan.
Abdullah was detained as he was found violating Section 144, imposed by the police on the account of the ‘Save Azam’ rally staged by Samajwadi Party in Rampur on August 1. As per reports, UP Police had blocked all roads leading to the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University and imposed section 144 in the area. Despite this, Abdullah and his supporters tried to storm the university, leading to clashes with the police.
Earlier, the police had carried out raids at the university and recovered many valuable old books stolen from a centuries-old Madarsa in Rampur. Abdullah Khan later held a candlelight vigil to protest the raids outside the University. Azam Khan, the father of the SP MLA from Suar is the founder and chancellor of the university. The police conducted search operations at ‘Mumtaz Central Library’ of Mohammad Ali Jauhar University following a complaint by the principal of Madrasa Aliya, wherein he stated that 9000 books and rare manuscripts from the Madrasa have been stolen.