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Asif Mohammad Khan files nomination papers

Presently incarcerated Okhla councillor Asif Mohammad Khan recently filed his nomination papers for the MCD polls as an independent.
The popular councillor’s wife Mrs. Fahmina told MG that her husband would fight the council elections from his prison cell in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

Asif Mohammad Khan’s bail petition was earlier rejected by the Delhi High Court on 11 February. Rejecting the bail petition Justice RS Sodhi observed that the hearing on the charge-sheet has not been completed. According to Ramesh Gupta, advocate for the councillor, the charge-sheet against his client has been filed in the court of Justice IS Mehta, Sessions Judge. The Delhi High Court had directed the petitioner to go to the sessions court.

Appearing on behalf of Asif Mohammad Khan, his lawyers Mohammad Sajid and Tanveer Khan argued that the prolonged detention of the councilor was hampering the development of Okhla. According to Ramesh Gupta, Asif has been accused of disturbing communal harmony by publishing posters in favour of Osama Bin Laden which also lambasted the United States for unleashing war against the innocent Muslims of Afghanistan (see MG42).

Last September, Asif Mohammad Khan had published a poster questioning the legitimacy of the US attack on Afghanistan. In his bail petition, counsel Tanveer Khan and Mohammad Sajid said that police did not find the posters which were pasted on 14 September 2001 as objectionable till 27 September when he was arrested. They argued that high ranking police officers in a press conference on 24 September had stated that the language of the poster was not objectionable and therefore no offense was committed by the petitioner. Later the former Chief Justice of India Justice Ahmadi expressed the same opinion (see MG43).

Khan has also been accused of help the now banned Students Islamic Movement of India which he has denied. The police had arrested him on 27 September on a complaint by one Muhammad Sharif Khan after the ban was imposed on SIMI. 

Asif is very popular in his area from where he has won the local council election. The MCD elections are round the corner and Khan is still behind bars. Asif’s wife Fahmina is quite sure and confident of her husband winning the poll with a bid margin. Already, there is a sympathy wave in the area in favour of the jailed councilor. Talking to the MG voters from the constituency said that Mr. Khan’s services to the constituency cannot be forgotten as he has remained with the people through thick and thin, and has always been at the forefront whenever any need arose.

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