The Uttar Pradesh government, under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath, is known for law and order. The people involved in vandalism, the encroachment of land, and crime are not spared by the Yogi government, no matter what their stature and how powerful they are. In its latest action against the corruption of high profile people, the Yogi Adityanath administration has released an order to take back 70 hectares (173 acres) of land owned by Jauhar Trust, headed by former minister Azam Khan and run by his family members.
Additional District Government Counsel (Revenue) Ajay Tiwari said that the order was passed by ADM (Administration) Jagdamba Prasad Gupta after the court found that the Jauhar Trust, headed by Azam Khan, had not followed the conditions set by the state government during the sale of the land in 2005.
“When a person or organisation has to buy more than 12.5 acres of land, then permission has to be sought from the state government. The state government had set some conditions at the time of the sale of this particular land. One of the conditions set by the state government was that the land would be used for charitable work. The court found that it was not being done. Other conditions included that no purchase will be done from people who belong to SC and ST categories and that Gram Samaj land will not be taken over. The UP Revenue Act rules were also being violated by the Trust. The land will now be registered in the name of the government in revenue records,” Tiwari said.
Azam Khan was allotted 12.5 acres of land for the Mohammed Ali Jauhar University, but over the years the land area under the control of the university expanded to 300 acres. Azam Khan-led Al Jauhar Trust invaded the land surrounding the university, be it public or private. Many households were forced to sell land surrounding the university and the land owned by the government was transferred to the university illegally.
“He (Azam Khan) had also taken over some land which was supposed to be a public road, and there is also some Enemy Property, which has been acquired for the university by the Trust,” Tiwari said, adding: “During a probe by Rampur district administration, it was found that the Trust was not following the conditions laid down in 2005. He was asked by the ADM court to present his side which he did not do,” said Tiwari.
Since February last year, Azam Khan and his son Abdullah are in jail in a forgery case. Azam Khan’s wife was granted bail in December last year in the same case but the Yogi Administration has kept the corrupt father and son behind the bars since February last year when they surrendered in a forgery (fake birth certificate) case.
Azam Khan proposed for a state-owned Urdu University in Rampur in 2004, after the Mulayam Singh Yadav led Samajwadi Party came to power. The university was proposed to be named after Mohammad Ali Jauhar, a Muslim leader who is known for leading the Khilafat movement.
Azam Khan had put up a condition that he should be made lifelong chancellor of the university, yet the then Governor of Uttar Pradesh, T V Rajeshwar, did not approve the bill. The UPA-ruled central government also opposed the idea of Azam Khan being the lifelong chancellor of a state-owned university; however, Khan did not give up.
The Samajwadi Party lost power in the state to Mayawati led BSP in 2007. The new government was not favourable to Azam Khan, who wanted private control over the university, but was using public land to build it.
Azam Khan dropped the idea of university after the Mayawati government came to power and instead built an engineering college named Jauhar College of Engineering and Technology. For the next few years, the engineering college was being run from the varsity campus and the idea of the public university went into limbo.
But, in 2012, Samajwadi Party was elected back to power with a huge majority and the now Azam Khan, who saw himself as number two in the government after Akhilesh Yadav, dropped the idea of state-owned varsity and built a fully-fledged private university on public land.
The varsity was inaugurated by Mulayam Singh Yadav, the patriarch of Samajwadi Party, in 2012, just a few months after the party came to power. In the inauguration function, the then CM and Mulayam Singh Yadav heaped praise for Azam Khan and hailed him as the new messiah of Muslim community.
Azam Khan was Urban Development and Minority Affairs Minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government, and the university flourished for the next five years under his leadership. Several land grab cases by the private, as well as, public authorities were filed against the institute’s management during the Mayawati government and Akhilesh Yadav government, but no action was taken.
The university faculties are all named after Islamists and secular icons with the Paramedical Sciences department named Mother Teresa Institute of Paramedical Science, humanities department named Mulayam Singh Faculty of Humanities and so on.
Azam Khan easily converted a university built on public land into a private fiefdom and got minority institution status for the varsity, and therefore, reserved 50 per cent seats for the students of the Muslim community.
The university was in headlines throughout the tenure of Akhilesh Yadav, as crores of rupees were spent on advertising. For five years, the university was a case study of blatant abuse of power, graft, abuse of rule of law, and power of Azam Khan.
Since the Yogi government came to power in 2017, the record is being set straight by the administration. A few weeks ago Yogi Adityanath administration ran JCB on the building built on public land, to construct a road. And now, Yogi is all set to take over the illegal university land and Azam Khan, who is in jail in a fake birth certificate case, could not do anything. Karma has completed a full circle in Azam Khan’s case.