Sixth FIR filed against Azam for ‘hate’ speech
Another case of alleged hate speech has been filed against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan in Bijnor in UP. With this, a total of six cases have been registered against the minister in Akhilesh Yadav government after the Election Commission (EC) cracked the whip on him for making provocative speeches.
The latest FIR was registered against Khan on April 13 night at Afzalgarh police station in Bijnor, sources said.
Khan had addressed an election rally at Afzalgarh in support of Moradabad’s SP candidate, S T Hasan on April 10 in which he had allegedly tried to flare up communal feelings by speaking about Gujarat and Muzaffarnagar riots in detail.
While two FIRs have been lodged against Azam in Bijnor, one FIR each has been lodged in Ghaziabad, Rampur, Sambhal and Shamli districts for allegedly making inflammatory speeches and violating the model code of conduct.
Charges against Khan included sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), 153B( imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes) of the IPC, besides section 125 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
On April 11, the EC had banned Khan from campaigning in and directed authorities to initiate criminal proceedings against him. The EC has been also critical of the role of Samajwadi Party’s government in the state for “soft-pedalling” on registration of FIRs against Khan and not dealing with the sensitive issue with alacrity.