The Income Tax Department conducted raids on Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s residence in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur on Wednesday morning, in connection with a tax evasion probe against Khan and those linked to him.

Sources say that searches were also underway at the house of Samajwadi Party MLA Naseer Ahmad Khan, who is considered close to Azam.

Rampur, Saharanpur, Lucknow, Ghaziabad and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, along with some regions in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh were targetted in the raids, as per a PTI report.

Since the BJP came to power in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, as many as 81 cases have been registered against Khan in Rampur on various charges, including land-grabbing, cheating and criminal trespass. His wife and son were also booked in some of these cases. All three are currently out on bail.

Earlier in July, Khan was sentenced to two years in prison in a hate speech case registered in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election. He has been convicted in three separate cases so far.