Rampur (UP), July 14
The Uttar Pradesh government has withdrawn the ‘Y-category’ security cover provided to Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan saying it was not needed, as his party decried the move as “unfortunate.” Rampur Additional Superintendent of Police Sansar Singh said they had received a letter from the security headquarters in Lucknow, which said there was no need to provide the Y-category security to Khan, a 10-time MLA from Rampur.
In compliance with the order, his security was withdrawn, he added.
Once buzzing with political activities, Khan’s house on the Jail Road bore little resemblance to its heyday, bereft as it was of any uniformed men.
Under the Y-category security, Khan was given three gunmen who were posted at his residence round-the-clock, the ASP said.
The move has triggered a political slugfest between the ruling BJP and the opposition Samajwadi Party headed by Akhilesh Yadav.
SP’s UP unit chief Naresh Uttam Patel slammed the move claiming there was still threat to his life.
“There is a threat to his life. What can be more unfortunate than this? Today there are BJP leaders, who do not need any security, but they are moving around with Y-category security,” Patel told reporters.
He said that the BJP government framed Azam Khan in false cases, and has been inflicting mental and physical torture on him.
UP BJP spokesperson Manish Shukla countered Patel’s charges saying the security cover was taken off as per a periodic review of threat perception.
“The people who are given security by the government, their security is reviewed from time to time. The review is done by a committee which decides who has to be given security, and in which scale based on threat perception.
“For Azam Khan, it was decided that he does not need any security,” Shukla said, and called the exercise a “routine process.” Once a heavyweight cabinet minister in the SP regime, Khan’s stocks have been in constant decline under the current state government led by BJP’s Yogi Adityanath.
Khan had won the Rampur assembly seat in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh polls for a record 10th time. After becoming the MLA, he resigned from the Lok Sabha.
In October 2022, the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Secretariat disqualified Khan from the House, a day after a court sentenced him to three years in jail in a hate speech case.
Days later, his legislator son Abdullah Azam met a similar fate after a Moradabad court order awarded him two years of imprisonment in a 15-year-old case of road blockage in that district.
With the father-son duo facing the axe, there is no representation of Khan’s family in either house of the state legislature at present.
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