Rampur: Scores of people staged a protest in front of the Rampur collectorate demanding that former Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan be arrested for alleged irregularities during recruitment in Jal Nigam under the previous regime.
Led by former Rampur Zila Panchayat Chairman Hafiz Abdul Sayeed, the protesters yesterday submitted a memorandum demanding the immediate arrest of the Samajwadi Party leader who was earlier this week booked by the SIT of Uttar Pradesh Police in connection with the recruitment drive.
Khan, who was the chairman of Jal Nigam when the recruitment drive was conducted, denied the charges terming them as an act of "political vendetta".
"If for providing jobs to youths, I am being blamed as dishonest, then no one in the world should be treated as honest," Khan said yesterday.
"Fingers are being raised towards me in spite of the fact that courts have given verdicts in my favour pertaining to providing jobs to youths in Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam. The government's action is a very clear case of political vendetta," he said.
The protester shouting slogans against Khan were restrained from entering the collectorate premises. However, they succeeded to hand over the memorandum demanding the arrest of Khan. Khan was booked along with others under IPC section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating)and 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) besides section 13(1)(D) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The SIT is probing complaints of anomalies during the recruitment of 1,342 persons in Jal Nigamunder the Akhilesh Yadav regime.
The firm Aptech which conducted the online exam for the recruitment was also named in the FIR.
An inquiry was set up by the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government in July last year to find out whether people were given jobs in an illegal manner between November, 2016 and February, 2017 for different positions at the Jal Nigam.
The BJP government had terminated 122 Jal Nigam assistant engineers in August last year, while the fate of others would be decided once the SIT completes the probe.
Khan was questioned by the SIT on January 22 in this regard, wherein he had claimed that the recruitment was done as per law and that the BJP government was hell bent on tarnishing his image.
The Allahabad High Court had ordered a probe into the allegations after some candidates who were not selected in the recruitment drive moved the court.