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Azam Khan faces sedition charge over Army remarks

Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan has been booked under sedition charges at Chandpur police station in Bijnor on Friday for alleged derogatory remarks against the Army.

Ajay Kumar Singh, station officer, Chandpur police station, said, "An FIR has been filed against Khan under IPC sections 124 a (sedition), 131 (Abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief)."

The FIR was filed following a complaint by Anil Pandey, prant mantri of Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

Two days after Khan said excesses by security forces had led to "women in some places chopping off the private parts of Army men", members of VHP and Bajrang Dal raised slogans against him and filed a complaint in this regard at Sadar police station on Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Shahjahanpur district coordinator of VHP Rajesh Kumar Awasthi announced a reward of Rs 50 lakh for the tongue of the Samajwadi Party leader.

The controversy started when Azam Khan while addressing SP supporters at an Eid Milan function on Tuesday said "At some places female militants took away private parts of soldiers. They didn't take away their head or limbs but their private parts. The act has such a big message to it which should have the entire country ashamed."

By Wednesday the video of his statement was widely circulated and Khan found himself at the receiving end.

The outcry forced Khan to give a written explanation in which he claimed that the statement was in reference to a Maoist attack in Jharkhand earlier.

"It was widely reported in newspapers and television that female terrorists of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha mutilated the dead bodies of (CRPF) soldiers and took away their private parts," read the statement.

Ironically, the JMM is a political party.

Azam Khan has also called a press conference in Rampur on Saturday afternoon.