NEW DELHI: UP politicians Azam Khan, Mukhtar Ansari and Atiq Ahmad - all of them elected to UP assembly for at least five terms and currently in prison - will be questioned by Enforcement Directorate starting Monday for the next few days before the agency attaches their properties acquired through alleged money laundering and 'proceeds of crime' as public servants.
The ED has received court permission for custodial interrogation of SP's Lok Sabha MP Azam Khan from September 20 to 24 in connection with a money laundering case registered against him and his son, both currently in the district jail at Sitapur. The UP government has already moved to reclaim 170 acres of Azam Khan-controlled Mohammad Ali Jauhar University in Rampur. UP police and central agencies are investigating several other land grab cases.
The other alleged mafia dons associated with BSP and SP, Mukhtar Ansari and Atiq Ahmad respectively, will be questioned in prison by senior ED officials and officers investigating the case. While Ansari is lodged in the district jail at Banda, Atiq is in Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad.
ED Lucknow zone head Rajeshwar Singh confirmed that the agency has received permission from courts for custodial interrogation of these alleged dons. He didn't deny the attachment proceedings initiated against them.
The agency has clubbed Azam Khan with the others and has identified their properties and various other assets to attach them in money laundering cases being investigated against them and their family members.
While Azam Khan is a sitting Lok Sabha MP and a senior SP leader, Mukhtar Ansari has been five-time MLA from Mau on a BSP ticket. Atiq Ahmad too has his affiliation to SP and was elected to Lok Sabha in 2014 on an SP ticket. Mukhtar Ansari has 49 FIRs registered against him in cases related to murder, extortion and land grabbing. He also faces a case of laundering MLA local area development funds and grabbing properties of evacuees who had migrated to Pakistan.
According to a dossier prepared by ED on Atiq Ahmad, he has 196 FIRs registered against him in cases of murder, extortion, land and companies grabbing. In one case, a businessman, Mohit Jaiswal, was brought to Deoria jail where Atiq Ahmad was lodged. Jaiswal was thrashed and, facing a threat to his life, transferred at least three of his companies to Atiq Ahmad's aides.