Rampur : A court in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur district on Saturday convicted senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and former MLA Mohd Azam Khan in a hate speech case.
The MP/MLA court sentenced Khan to a two-year jail term for remarks he made against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
He made the remarks while addressing a gathering in support of a candidate of the alliance in Rampur’s Dhanora.
A case was registered against Khan at Shahzad Nagar police station in Rampur in connection with the hate speech case.
This is seen as another setback for SP, part of the opposition group that has been gearing up to take on the ruling BJP in the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Earlier, Khan was convicted in another case of hate speech in 2019 and sentenced to three years in jail by an MP-MLA magistrate court on October 17, 2022, which led to his disqualification from the Uttar Pradesh Assembly two days later.
Meanwhile, in another significant development, a day after his Y-category security cover was withdrawn by the Uttar Pradesh government, Azam Khan has now been given “provisional security,” according to police.
The officer said the decision was reappraised and it was decided to give Khan a security cover at the district level.
“This security is not a Y-category security cover. Under this arrangement, three gunners will be provided to him,” a police officer added.
The SP had termed the process of withdrawal of security ‘undemocratic’ and claimed there was still a threat to Khan’s life.
In May this year, he was acquitted in another 2019 hate speech case for which he was convicted in October.
Khan had allegedly made derogatory remarks against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
He was awarded three years in prison by the Rampur court and a consequent disqualification from the Assembly.
Khan, thereafter, filed an appeal in the MP/MLA court challenging the Rampur court order.
The court, after hearing the appeal, declared him innocent of the charges pressed against him. — IANS