Mayawati comes out in support of Azam Khan, accuses Uttar Pradesh government of targeting opponents
Coming out in support of senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on May 12 said his continued incarceration is being regarded as a "strangulation of justice" by the common man.
Ms. Mayawati also hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party government for allegedly targeting the poor, Dalits, tribals and Muslims and harassment of its political opponents.
In a series of tweets, the BSP President said, "In Uttar Pradesh and other BJP-ruled states, like the Congress, the manner in which poor, Dalits, tribals and Muslims are being harassed by making them victims of atrocities and fear is very sad, whereas their (BJP) kindness is continuing in the affairs of others."
Speaking up for Mr. Khan, the BSP President said, "In this sequence, the matter of continuous hateful and terror (like) action by the U.P. government on its opponents and keeping senior MLA Mohammad Azam Khan in jail for about two-and-a-half years is in the news which, in the eyes of the people, if not strangulating justice then what." Mr. Khan, a senior SP leader and MLA from Rampur, is currently in jail on several charges including corruption. Mr. Khan has been lodged in Sitapur jail for over two years.
In a major relief to Mr. Khan, the Allahabad High Court on May 11 granted him bail in the case of illegal possession of the enemy property.
Mr. Khan, a former State Minister, has got bail in 88 out of 89 cases. Mr. Khan will be released from jail only after the bail is granted in the last case.
Ms. Mayawati, a former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, also slammed the anti-encroachment drive carried out in some places including the national capital by civic authorities.
"The manner in which migrants and working people are being made victims of fear and terror in the name of encroachment by adopting a malicious attitude in many States of the country and their livelihood is being snatched, raises many questions and is also a matter of concern," Ms. Mayawati added.