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UP: Yogi govt now wants to scrap cases related to Muzaffarnagar riots against BJP leaders

Muzaffarnagar riot victims

By Muslim Mirror News,

Lucknow: After initiating the process to withdraw 20,000 cases against politicians across party lines in Uttar Pradesh, the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government in the state now wants to scrap criminal cases against the leaders of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), some of them ministers now, who were allegedly involved in 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots in which 60 people were killed and over 50,000 were left homeless.

Raj Singh, special secretary in the department of justice, has sent letters to the District Magistrate (DM) and the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Muzaffarnagar on January 5 seeking their opinion on the possibility withdrawal of nine criminal cases pending in a local court in the western UP district against some top BJP leaders – including former Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, MP Bhartendu Singh, UP minister Suresh Rana, MLA Umesh Malik and party functionary Sadhvi Prachi.

Interestingly, the government has sought to know whether the cases can be withdrawn in “public interest”. The letter that has 13 points does not mention the name of the leaders but the file numbers related to the riot cases against them, have been mentioned.

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Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar confirmed that such a letter had gone out to the two officials. “The matter concerns the justice department. Yes, 13-point information was sought from the DM and SSP of Muzaffarnagar for their recommendation on whether the cases can be withdrawn or not regarding the 2013 riot cases,” Kumar has been quoted by The Times of India as saying.

Some of the 13 points mentioned in the letter are: who all are involved in the case; what evidence is available; what points or logic the accused/applicant has put forward to support his withdrawal claim; what is the prosecution status report on available evidence; whether there is any merit in withdrawing the case; and who is the applicant (accused).

An applicant (accused), said the top official, is free to file a petition to the government seeking relief. “Suppose a person says that a particular case against him is fake and it should be withdrawn, the application is then forwarded by the state government to the district administration to seek a report. It’s a routine exercise. The DM and SSP’s recommendation is asked as to what they have to say. Then the local administration takes a report from the prosecution looking into the case to see whether there is substantial evidence or not against the accused. Based on the status of the evidence a recommendation report is then sent by district authorities,” he added.

The BJP leaders were booked for inciting violence through their speeches in a mahapanchayat (public meeting) at Nagla Mandaur on August 30, 2013, ahead of the deadly riots. They were charged under Sections 188 (violating prohibitory orders), 354 (assault or criminal force to deter public servants from discharging his duty) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code.

The Nagla Mandaur mahapanchayat was one of the first public meetings after three young men (Shahnawaz, Sachin and Gaurav) were killed over an alleged incident of eve-teasing at Kawal in Muzaffarnagar district. The grand public meeting in the aftermath of the gruesome murder of the three led to mobilisation for the communal violence in the first week of September 2013. The communal clashes broke out in the aftermath of angry and retaliatory mahapanchayats held by Muslims and Hindus in the area in August 2013.

For their part, the BJP leaders had always termed the cases as “politically motivated” and “vendetta politics” of the then Samajwadi Party government which slapped the hate speech case against them.

Earlier, the state government in an attempt to try politico-legal cleansing, as they call it, has initiated the process to withdraw 20,000 cases of breach of peace and violation of prohibitory orders against the politicians across party lines in UP by sending a letter to DMs.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on December 22, while participating in a debate on the UPCOCA Bill on the floor of the House, had made the light of his government’s intention to would withdraw around 20,000 such cases against politicians.

Actually, the withdrawal would include cases against CM Yogi Adityanath, Deputy CM Keshav Maurya, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, BJP MLAs Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana and BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj and the likes of them.

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