Lucknow: After losing membership of Uttar Pradesh state assembly due to conviction in a hate speech case, former minister and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan is on the radar of Income Tax sleuths.
The IT teams have conducted raids at his residence and premises belonging to people close to the SP leader.
Raids carried in several locations
On Wednesday teams of the Income Tax department searched the residence and office of Azam Khan in Rampur. Besides, raids were also conducted at the premises of close associates of SP leaders in Meerut, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur, Sitapur and Lucknow. The IT Officials searched at least 30 places in UP and Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday in connection with a tax evasion case related to Azam. The tax evasion case is related to the Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Trust headed by Azam Khan.
Reacting on the IT raids at Azam Khan, former UP Chief Minister and SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav said that this shows the weakness of the government. Weaker the government and more raids of the opposition's leaders, said he.
Azam Khan's lawyer's house and office also raided
The IT sleuths also raided the residence and office of Azam Khan’s lawyer in Lucknow, Mushtaq Ahmad. The house of Samajwadi legislator Naseer Ahmad, close aide of Azam, was also searched by IT teams. In Sitapur district the IT teams raided Regency Institute of Management & Technology, Hotel Mayur and Hotel Shahid. All these establishments belong to a close associate of Azam Khan. In Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh IT sleuths searched the residence of former SP MP Munawar Saleem.
The raids that started on Wednesday were still continuing at many places. The raids have been conducted on the charges of tax evasion by the trust headed by Azam Khan. Earlier this year the Yogi Government had cancelled the lease of 3.24 acres of land allotted to Azam’s trust in 2013-14. This land was given to trust on an annual rent of just ₹100 for a period of 30 years.