MEERUT/LUCKNOW Rampur Police on Tuesday recovered rare books and manuscripts stolen in 2019 from the Raza Oriental College (Madrasa Alia) under the elevator of a building on the grounds of Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, which are managed by a trust of the Samajwadi party leader Azam Khan.
The Raza Oriental College (Madrasa Alia) was founded in 1774 by the Nawab of Rampur. The recovery was made on the basis of information provided by two aides of the SP leader’s son, Abdullah Azam, who had been previously arrested, police said.
Police found these books while digging under an elevator. They also found a local company’s cleaning machine buried near the university’s medical school. The machine was reported missing seven years ago, police added.
“The two defendants found out in a strict interrogation that the stolen books were hidden in the elevator shaft, which was closed with a wall. Hundreds of books were found buried in the shaft under the wall. The process of counting the books is still ongoing,” said ASP (Rampur) Sansar Singh. “We will continue to seek the duo’s custody as they may assist in recovering other stolen items.”
On Sunday, police arrested SP MLA Abdullah Azam’s aides for their involvement in a gambling racket. During the interrogation, they revealed the books and the cleaning machine.
On July 15, 2019, an FIR was filed for the theft of books by Raza Oriental College Principal Zubair Ahmad, stating that then-Cabinet Minister Mohd Azam Khan forcibly occupied the college building in 2016, prompting 10,633 rare Books and manuscripts in the college library have disappeared, police said.
The headmaster claimed the books were taken to the Jauhar Ali University library run by Khan. Later, on July 31, 2019, around 2,500 books were seized from Jauhar Ali University’s Mumtaz Library and four people were arrested.
On Monday, a social activist Waqar Ali Khan filed a separate FIR against seven people including university chancellor and former minister Azam Khan, his son Abdullah Azam, Anwar Hussain, Salim Ali, former local council head Azhar Khan, Sultan Mohammed Khan and university staff Talib after recovering the dismantled street cleaning machine.
In FIR he mentioned that the machine was bought by the local council during the Samajwadi party regime before March 2017 and the former minister, with the help of other suspects, had fraudulently taken it for university work and that it has been missing ever since.
Khan is the MLA of Rampur while his son Abdullah Azam is MLA of Swar Assembly in Rampur district.