Rampur: Income Tax department raid on the Rampur residence in Uttar Pradesh of senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan continued for the third day on Friday.

The department on Wednesday conducted searches at over 30 locations in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh as part of its tax evasion probe against Khan and people associated with him.

Teams of IT personnel on Wednesday reached cities including Rampur, Meerut, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur and Sitapur to raid multiple premises linked to the Samajwadi Party leader.

Searches were conducted on Thursday too at Khan’s Rampur residence. Azam Khan was elected an MLA from the Rampur Sadar constituency. The state Assembly Secretariat, earlier in October, announced Khan’s disqualification from the House after a court sentenced him to three years in jail in a hate speech case.

The case was registered against Khan in April 2019 for levelling serious allegations against administrative officials posted in Rampur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during an election meeting.

During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Khan was booked

for making inflammatory speeches while addressing a public meeting in Khatanagaria village of the Milak Kotwali area.

Earlier, Allahabad High Court in May 2022 had granted interim bail to Azam Khan in a matter which was related to a wrongful possession of Waqf board property land.Azam Khan began his political career by winning the 1980 assembly election on Janata Party (Secular) ticket from Rampur. He has served as a minister in both Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav governments.

As many as 81 cases have since been registered against the SP stalwart in Rampur on several charges including land grabbing, cheating, criminal trespass and hate speech.

Khan’s wife and ex-MP Tanzeen Fatima and their son and former MLA Abdullah Azam Khan have also been booked in at least 40 cases. All three are currently out on bail.

Azam along with Tanzeen and Abdullah was arrested in February 2020 in a case of alleged forgery of the latter’s birth certificate. Azam was released from jail in May 2022. Tanzeen was released from prison in December 2020 and Abdullah in January 2022.

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