The Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday booked Samajwadi Party leader Abdullah Azam Khan for allegedly assaulting a man at a polling centre in the Rampur district and preventing him from voting.
The police have also named three journalists – Vikas Singh, Ankur Pratap Singh and Shahbaz – in the first information report. The case was filed based on a complaint by a Rampur resident named Nadeem Khan.
The alleged incident took place on December 5, when bye-elections to the Assembly constituency of Rampur were held. The Samajwadi Party leader is the son of former Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan.
The complainant alleged that when he was heading to the polling centre, Khan and the three journalists, along with a crowd of supporters, stopped him and asked him to show his identification documents. He claimed that when he refused to show them his documents, they assaulted and abused him.
“They threatened me and said that if I come to vote, I will end up losing my life,” Nadeem Khan alleged.
He claimed that the Samajwadi Party leader also threatened his friend Meherban Ali when he asked him why he was stopping people from voting.
Nadeem Khan further alleged that Abdullah Khan and his supporters repeatedly entered the polling booth on the day of voting. He claimed that the crowd of supporters was preventing the police from checking the identities of those who were entering the polling booth.
The police have invoked sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to rioting, false statements in connection with an election, voluntarily causing hurt, intentional insult to provoke breach of peace, criminal intimidation, voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant and disobedience to order issued by a public servant.
The Rampur bye-poll was necessitated by Khan’s disqualification as an MLA on account of his conviction in a hate speech case. The result will be declared on December 8.