Muzaffarnagar, January 27 2019 —
The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to withdraw 18 cases related to the Muzaffarnagar riots and asked the district authorities to approach the court, sources said Sunday. UP’s special secretary of law JJ Singh has directed Muzaffarnagar district magistrate Rajeev Sharma to withdraw the cases, they said.
On the directive from Lucknow, the district authorities have started preparing to approach the court for permission to withdraw the cases. The cases were filed under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code including 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) and 397 (attempt to cause death), the sources said.
The directive came after the state government sought details of 125 cases filed in relation to the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013. Additional district magistrate Amit Kumar told PTI that the state government had sought the details to review the possibility of withdrawing the 125 cases pending in courts.
Several leaders of the ruling BJP, including MPs Sanjeev Balyan and Bharatendra Singh, MLAs Sangeet Som and Umesh Malik, have been named in these 125 cases. Minister in the state government Suresh Rana and Hindutva leader Sadhvi Prachi are also accused in cases related to the Muzaffarnagar riots. However, the cases asked to withdraw do not include the names of these BJP leaders.
Communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas in August and September 2013 had claimed 60 lives and displaced over 40,000 people. The state government had formed an SIT to probe the riot cases. The SIT has filed charge sheets in 175 cases. Police had registered cases against 6,869 people and arrested 1,480 people in connection with the riots. According to the SIT, 418 accused have been acquitted in 54 cases due to lack of evidence.