LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: In more trouble for Samajwadi Party's Member of Parliament Azam Khan, the Enforcement Directorate on Friday initiated a money-laundering probe against him over suspicion that the university run by him in Uttar Pradesh has been built on the land, which was taken in violation of the enemy property law.
It may be noted that Azam Khan had established Mohammad Ali Jauhar University in the Rampur district of the state, which has come under the ED scanner over alleged violation of rules in acquiring the land for it. The university is said to have over 3,000 students enrolled and is spread over an area of 121 hectares.
ED has sought a reply from the Rampur district administration and the Higher Education Authority in this regard after it came to light that Khan's university has been built on the Enemy property.
Enemy properties are the immovable assets left behind by people who migrated to Pakistan since the Partition and to China after the 1962 Sino-Indian war.
According to the government data, there are over 9,000 such properties left behind by Pakistani nationals and 126 by Chinese nationals. All these are regulated under the Enemy Property Act.
In view of these developments, the UP Police have filed a case against Khan and others in this regard.
Azam Khan has been in the eye of a storm after 26 cases of land grabbing were registered against him by farmers, who claimed that the SP leader usurped their land for Rampur`s Jauhar University.
Based on these cases, the central probe agency had also registered a case against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Meanwhile, Azam Khan has not visited his home in Rampur since the past one month.
According to sources, Khan is apprehensive of his arrest in multiple cases of land grab, book theft, money laundering and lion statue theft that have been registered against him in the past one month. Rampur Superintendent of Police (SP) Ajay Pal Sharma has said that the SP MP's arrest was possible in the sections under which cases had been registered against him.
District Magistrate Anjaneya Kumar Singh said that there was no restriction on Azam Khan visiting Rampur but has not come to Rampur ever since cases have been registered against him.
Reacting to it, Congress Minority Cell vice president Faisal Khan said, "Azam Khan is facing various charges of forgery and theft and he knows he will be arrested if he comes here. That is the reason he is keeping away from Rampur."
BJP spokesman Chandra Mohan said the Yogi government is taking stern action against land mafia and Azam Khan had already been declared one. "We will not compromise on any issue related to law and order," he said.
However, a source close to Azam Khan said that the MP's wife, Tanzeen Fatima, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, was unwell and was undergoing treatment in Delhi. "Azam Khan is with her in Delhi and will come to Rampur soon," he said.
The SP leader has also been booked with the theft of about 2,000 books from the town`s ancient Aaliya Madarasa. The books were recovered from the University in a raid.
Two lion statues, reportedly stolen from Rampur Club, were also found in the University.