On Wednesday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) took Mohammad Abdullah Azam’s statement in a money laundering case. The ED has invited Abdullah, who was most recently elected to the Rampur Suar Assembly seat, to participate in the investigation.
The transfer of monies to the Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Trust, which manages Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, was the subject of a case that the ED had brought against Abdullah’s father and a prominent SP politician, Azam Khan. The university’s founder and chancellor is Azam Khan.
Azam’s wife, Tanzeen Fatima, would also be asked to join the investigation and record her statement, a senior ED official said, adding that Abdullah’s statement will be continuing to be recorded tomorrow (Thursday). Azam Khan had already been questioned by the ED in relation to the matter.
Around twenty persons received notices from the ED in connection with the matter last year. The majority of persons who received notices are from Rampur and are said to have given money to the Trust. The central government agency believes that certain donors to the Trust may have gotten “kickbacks” from government contracts for building projects and the provision of commodities and materials. Additionally, in an effort to learn more about Azam Khan, his Trust, and the institution, the ED had written to the police and district government of Rampur. It should be recalled that Azam Khan, who had spent nearly two years in prison, was freed in May after receiving bail in more than 60 cases. Khan, his wife, and their son appeared in court in Rampur on February 26, 2020, in connection with a case involving the alleged falsification of Abdullah’s birth certificate.
Up to 81 cases have been filed against Azam Khan at various police stations in Rampur since the BJP came to power in 2017 on various counts, including land grabbing, cheating, and criminal trespass. Azam’s wife Tanzeen Fatima and son Abdullah Azam were occasionally charged as well. There are up to 41 cases against Abdullah and 32 cases against Fatima Tanzeen. Mohammad Abdullah was released in January of 2021, and Tanzeen Fatima received bail in December.